Friday, May 15, 2020


Custards and puddings are among desserts many learn to make quite early in life. The very first pudding I ever made was a vanilla one, and I proudly served it with whole strawberries. To this day, it remains one of my favourites. But among my favourites is this combination, too, chocolate, hazelnut, and coffee.
Rich and smooth, flavoured by dark chocolate, fragrant toasted hazelnuts, and Frangelico, it is the perfect brunch dessert. I especially love it with doppio espresso, and sometimes even with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top.
It is amazing both very well chilled and even slightly warm, depending on whether you want to serve it with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, or perhaps melted chocolate. Whichever way you prefer, add plenty of additional chopped hazelnuts, and enjoy every spoonful.

500 ml hazelnut milk
100 grams Turbinado sugar
40 grams cornflour
1 teaspoon espresso powder
100 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
50 millilitres Frangelico
75 grams toasted hazelnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Start by blending the hazelnuts until a gritty paste forms, then add the vanilla, and blend a tad more. It should not be entirely smooth, however, it is fine if it is a bit grainy. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sift in the cornflour and the espresso powder, and whisk well. Add in the sugar, and whisk again. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and let it heat up. As soon as you start noticing wisps of steam, start stirring. It will come to a boil quickly, so whisk vigorously until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
When the pudding is cooked, remove it from the heat, and add in the chocolate. Mix gently until it melts into it, and then add the hazelnut paste and Frangelico. Mix until it melts, too, and if it separates a bit, just let it rest for a few moments, and whisk again. Immediately pour into four serving glasses, cover the tops with some cling film to prevent a skin from forming, and let them cool down completely. Just before serving, if desired, add some additional chopped hazelnuts and some grated dark chocolate. Yields 4 servings.

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