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Chocolate and Coffee Pudding

Source: In Nonna's Kitchen
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 35 Minutes
  Serves 10
No one seems to know why this very old and much loved dessert is called a Belgian pudding. It has been cooked in the kitchens of ancient aristocratic families in Mantua for centuries and is so special that no one is willing to part with the recipe. Vanna Corbellani Camerlenghi, known in the city as an extraordinary cook, once served it as the piece de resistance at a dinner party and was as amazed as the guest who slipped her spoon into it for a first taste and exclaimed in wonder, "This is what my mother made!" It was the first time she'd had it in years since the recipe had disappeared from her family treasures.

3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 quart heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powdered instant espresso coffee
4 large eggs, beaten well
For the Caramel:
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Shave the chocolate into flakes and set it in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the cream, sugar, and powdered coffee, set over very low heat, and melt the chocolate, stirring from time to time. Be very careful that the mixture doesn't boil. Once the chocolate has melted, set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature. Add the beaten eggs to the cooled chocolate mixture.

Caramelize the sugar by combining the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Mix well over medium heat with a metal spoon only, then wipe down any crystals of sugar from the side of the pot with a brush dipped in cold water. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until the mixture is a deep amber color and has caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. You will have to work very fast: pour immediately to coat both the sides and bottom of a 10-inch tube pan or savarin mold with an 11- or 12-cup capacity. Set aside to cool. Vanna says that when you hear the caramel making a crack-crack sound, it's time to pour in the egg mixture.

Place the filled tube pan in a baking pan, pour in simmering water to reach halfway up the sides of the tube pan, and cover the top of the baking pan with foil. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the chocolate-colored top is set and a skewer comes out clean. If the pudding jiggles a bit, don't worry; it will become slightly firmer as it cools. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. To unmold, dip the mold very briefly in hot water. Loosen the top of the dessert by inserting the tip of a sharp paring knife between the pudding and the mold, about 1/4 inch below the top of the pudding, and drawing it all around the interior of the mold. Place a platter on the dessert and invert to serve.

Credit: In Nonna's Kitchen by Carol Field
Copyright 1997 by Carol Field
ISBN 0-06-017184-7

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 10
Calories: 523
Fat. Total: 40g
Fiber: 1g
Carbohydrates, Total: 39g
Sodium: 63mg
% Cal. from Fat: 69%
Cholesterol: 215mg
Protein: 5g
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