Italian desserts: Chocolate pudding (sanguinaccio al cioccolato)

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s mother Lina. She also liked to flavour the chocolate with vanilla and cinnamon. It is an easy dessert to prepare ahead of time, as it benefits from resting in the fridge overnight. Try it chilled, with freshly whipped cream and berries. But it is equally good when eaten still warm with some biscotti or savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers) for dipping.

chocolate pudding
Lauren Bamford 


200g granulated sugar
150g unsweetened cocoa powder
30g plain flour
600ml whole milk, warmed
70g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the warm milk a little at a time, so that you create a thick but smooth paste out of the dry ingredients.
  2. Continue adding milk, stirring with a wooden spoon or whisking the whole time, until you have a smooth mixture. Place over a very low heat and bring the mixture to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. When it thickens enough to heavily coat the spoon (if you drag a spoon across the bottom of the pan, you should be able to see a line momentarily), remove from the heat.
  4. At this point, you have lovely, thick, decadent hot chocolate, but to continue making puddings, stir through the dark chocolate until melted. Pour the mixture into individual serving bowls or ramekins, or even into one large bowl to serve at the table.
  5. Leave it to cool, then put it in the fridge to chill and finish setting completely (if serving with cream and berries, add these on top or on the side at the last moment). Alternatively eat the pudding warm, as is, with biscuits.

Now buy the book

Torta della NonnaOur recipes are from Torta Della Nonna by food writer Emiko Davies (Hardie Grant, £16.99). Emiko has lived in Florence for more than a decade and the book is a collection of some of her beloved Italian desserts. To order a copy for £14.95 until 28 March, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.