Califonia Bountiful

Dark chocolate budino with blueberries and basil

This dense, Italian-style chocolate pudding requires no tricky techniques. Wangler and Cenami recommend letting it cool completely before covering the bowls with plastic wrap, to avoid condensation and drips.

Chefs Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami
Jackson Family Wines, Santa Rosa

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2 tsp. powdered gelatin
1 1⁄4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. brown rice flour
8 oz. high-quality dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), chopped
1⁄2 cup warm, freshly brewed medium-roast coffee
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup blueberries
1⁄4 cup basil microgreens
1 tbsp. Maldon sea salt


In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 5 tsp. water, stir and then let sit for 10 minutes to bloom.

In a medium pot, combine milk, cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and salt, and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, rice flour and remaining 1/4 cup sugar, mixing well. Remove milk mixture from heat and slowly pour into egg mixture while whisking constantly until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture back into the pot and continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove from heat and stir in bloomed gelatin. Put chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour hot milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve over chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until chocolate melts and is fully incorporated. Stir in coffee, mixing well.

Divide mixture evenly among 8 individual serving bowls and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled. To serve, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with blueberries and basil, and finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt.

Serves 8

Wine recommendation: Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Dessert Wine

Recipe reprinted with permission from "Season," by Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami, copyright 2018, published by Cameron + Company. Photos by Alan Campbell. See Book Reviews for more information.

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