from smitten kitten


  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus another 1/2 cup for making whipped cream
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (60 percent range is perfect here), finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • Two pinches of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon, brandy, or another liqueur (optional)


  1. In the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan, whisk egg yolks with granulated sugar until fully combined. Slow drizzle in 2 cups of cream, whisking the whole time. Warm mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it is thick enough that it coats a spoon. (Don’t let it simmer or boil.)
  2. Place chopped chocolate in the bottom of a large bowl and set a fine-mesh strainer over it. Pour egg yolk mixture through strainer, onto the chocolate. Remove strainer and stir. the heat of the egg yolk mixture should melt the chocolate. Add butter, salt, and vanilla, and mix until butter is melted and combined.
  3. Divide between small cups (you’ll have about 2 1/2 to 2 2/3 cups of budino mixture) and chill until fully cold and set. Either right before you serve it or, when the chill is off the custard enough that it won’t melt the cream.
  4. Whip remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream to very soft peaks. Spoon generously over each cup. Serve cold, with strong coffee, and your favorite biscotti.