I love a good budino. Inside a harder shell there is a gooey inside that wets the plate when you start eating it. It is not really a pudding, or a soufflé, but something almost in-between. Budini have very little (if any) flour in them and seem to be made of air and softness due to the whisked egg whites that are folded in just before baking. On Good Friday at about 8 am I wanted to try to make a budino out of the new Guy Grossi cook book that my husband Mark had bought me. However it was made with cherries and almonds and as far as they were concerned, the cupboard was bare and all the shops were shut.
Having learnt from my mother to improvise (she is the queen of improvisation), I found some hazelnuts and some frozen raspberries left over from jam making and I set about making a raspberry budino. I started separating eggs and realised I was missing another key ingredient – cherry liqueur. So I looked in the pantry and found an old beer bottle filled with home made grappa. Clearly this budino was going to get made! Grappa is wonderful in most cakes – it gives them what I call a “Northern Italian” flavour (as well as a good dose of alcohol). Regular readers of this blog will know that I add grappa to crostoli as well as to ricotta cake. I also have it in my coffee on weekends (caffe coretto – or “corrected” coffee). Grappa is something that I can’t do without!
Mark and I had this budino with a caffe’ corretto for lunch on the Saturday before Easter – it was a great way to ease through the rest of the day!
Budino di lamponi e nocciole con grappa
Preheat the open to 170 degrees
30g butter melted
1/2 – 2/3 cup ground hazelnuts
4 large eggs separated
1 cup sifter icing sugar
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grappa
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
500g raspberries (if you are using frozen raspberries, thaw them before using)
Flaked hazelnuts and icing sugar to serve
Grease and line the base and sides of a 22cm cake time with a removable base.Press the ground hazelnuts onto the cake base so that it is evenly covered. This will form the base of your budino.
Place the egg yolks and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy and frothy (takes about 10 minutes on medium to high speed). Add the melted butter, vanilla, grappa and bread crumbs then beat for another 2 minutes. Whisk the egg whites separately until hard peaks form.Fold the egg whites through the mixture gently, about one quarter at a time until it is well incorporated. Pour into the prepared tin. gentle place the raspberries on the top of the cake mixture so that they are evenly spread. They will sink into the batter as the budino cooks.
Cook for 40 minutes (I have a fan forced oven) and then check the cake. It should be firm but wobble a bit when you gently shake the tin. Let it cool in the tin. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with flaked hazelnuts before serving. Eat warm or cold (I prefer cold). It is so moist that it does not need cream/mascarpone, though you could serve the budino with either of these if you like.