White Chocolate and Polenta Budini with Caramelized Chestnuts
4 hours inactive time
Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!
1 cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
5 oz White Chocolate, Chopped
2 cups Whole Milk
1 Cinnamon Stick, 2in long
1 ea Egg Yolk
1 ea whole Egg
1/3cup plus 1 tbsp Polenta
1 ea Lemon, Cut in half crosswise
1/4 cup Orange Juice
3 tbsp Maraschino Liqueur
1 1/2 tbsp Cognac
1 1/2 cups Chestnuts, Cut in 1/2 if large
Nonstick cooking spray
6 ea 40z Ramekins or Silicone molds
Method of Preparation
1. Lightly coat ramekins with cooking spray, set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan, mix 1/3 cup sugar with 2 ½ tbsp of water.
3. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
4. Boil, without stirring but using a pastry brush dipped in cold water to help brush out any sugar crystals, until a golden syrup forms.
5. Continue to boil, swirling the pan, until the syrup is a deep golden caramel.
6. Immediately divide caramel among ramekins.
7. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, ½ cup cream and cinnamon just to a boil.
8. Remove pan from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, chocolate and polenta.
10. Remove and discard cinnamon from hot milk mixture, then, while whisking, pour over polenta mixture.
11. Bring mixture to a bare simmer over very low heat.
12. Continue to stir frequently until polenta is thickened and tender, about 20 minutes.
13. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
14. In a bowl, beat together remaining 1/4 cup cream, egg and egg yolk.
15. Add to polenta, return to heat and gently simmer for 2 minutes.
16. Immediately divide hot polenta mixture among prepared ramekins.
17. Press mixture firmly into molds to remove any air bubbles, then cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and chill until pudding is set, about 4 hours or up to 2 days.
18. Secure one lemon half onto the tines of a fork, with cut side facing out.
19. In a heavy saucepan, mix 1/3 cup sugar with 2 1/2 tbsp of water.
20. Bring to a boil over medium heat, gently stirring until sugar is dissolved.
21. Boil, without stirring but using a pastry brush dipped in cold water to help brush out any sugar crystals, until a golden syrup forms.
22. Continue to boil, swirling the pan, until the syrup is a deep golden caramel.
23. In a slow and steady stream, add orange juice, then stir with the lemon half until clumps are dissolved into the caramel.
24. Add maraschino and Cognac.
25. Remove pan from heat and ignite the alcohol with a match,
26. Return pan to heat.
27. When flames subside, add chestnuts.
28. Very gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
29. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
30. Run a thin knife along the side of the ramekins to loosen, then invert the budini onto serving plates.
31. Spoon caramelized chestnuts over the top.
32. Serve immediately.
La Cucina Italiana Magazine, April 2012 Issue