Chocolate Budino with Candied Hazelnuts and Grapefruit

Bob Truitt

Altamarea Group - NYC

Bob Truitt, who oversees the dessert programs at Marea and the other restaurants in Michael White’s Altamarea Group, made this decadent Italian chocolate pudding for a Beard House dinner. He favors Valrhona Caribe dark and Jivara milk chocolates.


Chocolate Budino:

  • 1 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 cup roughly chopped milk chocolate
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 gelatin sheets

Candied Grapefruit:

  • Peel from 1 grapefruit
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Campari
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Candied Hazelnuts:

  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste


Make the chocolate budino: place the dark chocolate and milk chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Place the half-and-half and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan. Bring just to a boil. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly pour the hot half-and-half into the egg yolks while whisking. Return the custard to the pot and warm over low heat. Place the gelatin in a bowl of cold water. Stirring constantly, cook the custard over low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove the gelatin from the water, squeezing out any excess liquid. Add to the custard and whisk to dissolve. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve and into the bowl that's holding the chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Divide the mixture among six 4-ounce ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 4 to 6 hours.

Make the candied grapefruit: place the grapefruit peel in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Strain and repeat twice. Combine the peel, sugar, grapefruit juice, water, Campari, and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the peel is translucent, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool in the syrup. Strain the peel and slice into thin strips. Reserve.

Make the candied hazelnuts: preheat the oven to 350ºF. Toast the hazelnuts in a baking pan until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside. Combine the sugar and water in a medium sauce pot. Cook over medium-low heat, until the mixture has turned an amber color, about 10 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and add the nuts. Stir just to combine. Pour onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool for 15 minutes. Break into small pieces.

To serve, unmold each budino by dipping the bottom of each ramekin in hot water for 30 seconds. Run a thin knife around the edge of each ramekin and invert the pudding onto a serving dish. (If you prefer, you can just keep them in the ramekins for serving.) Garnish with candied grapefruit and hazelnuts.


6 servings