I have a love/hate relationship with restaurant cookbooks. On the one hand, I’m thrilled that one of my favorite restaurants is sharing its recipes, but on the other, the dishes don’t always seem to measure up to the versions I’ve had when dining out.
We loved A16 in San Francisco under Nate Appleman (who’s since moved on to consult for Chipotle) and had a number of wonderful dishes there — from the burrata to the housemade salsiccia pizza w/ spicy chile oil to the chocolate budino. The A16: Food and Wine cookbook delivers on those dishes and more. It was the A16 cookbook that introduced me to “00” flour and the overnight rise for pizza dough. The ricotta gnocchi is good, and even better in brodo with spicy pork meatballs, and the chocolate budino…well, what can you say about that other than “Mmmmm.”
Ok, ok, the recipe is here.
This is no ordinary pudding. The budino is thicker than standard American pudding, and rich to the point where you really only need a couple of spoonfuls to satisfy your sweet tooth. And what’s even better is that the book provides an option to bake the filling in a water bath and skip the chocolate crust step. See modified budino at the end of the recipe. Now, why would I do that? Yeah, I know, I found myself later wanting that little bit of crunchiness from the crust. Next time.