Chocolate-Almond Budino with Whipped Crème Fraiche
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Course: Dessert
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, ground in a food processor
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, divided
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Whipped Crème Fraiche
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche
- 5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Coat 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray and dust with flour.
- Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over it; let stand 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the almonds and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extract; cool 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan; cover and set aside for the water bath in step #6.
- Beat the butter in an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add 3/4 cup of the sugar; increase the speed to high and beat until again light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until well incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour.
- In a clean bowl beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Stir 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites in 2 additions until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter among the ramekins. Set the ramekins in a large roasting pan. Pour enough of the hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the ramekins. Set the pan in the oven and bake until the cakes have puffed and risen slightly above the rims of the ramekins, about 46-48 minutes. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven. Working one at a time, gently invert each ramekin over a plate, giving it a little shake, to unmold. (If they stick a little carefully run the tip of a knife around the sides of the ramekin to loosen). Top each budino with whipped crème fraiche.
- To Make the Whipped Craime Fraiche: While the budinos bake (or up to one day ahead), whisk the crème fraiche, confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon almond extract until the mixture holds stiff peaks.