Frankie Celenza

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Frankie explores his heritage with a Cookies & Cream Budino.

Budino (Easy Cookies and Cream Pudding)


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 3/4 cups whole milk

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • Semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • Bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • Homemade whipped cream

  • Crumbled chocolate chip cookies, for topping


  1. Add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a large saucepan with a curved bottom; whisk to remove any lumps. Pour in the milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract and egg yolks, and whisk again until smooth and well mixed.

  2. Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6-8 minutes. While whisking, make sure to pay attention to the bottom and sides of the saucepan. Add the semisweet and bittersweet chopped chocolate and stir to melt.

  3. Pour the now thickened pudding through a fine mesh sieve into a 4-cup measuring cup. Divide the pudding between 4 serving cups. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing against the surface of each pudding to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 3 hours.

  4. Top with whipped cream and crushed chocolate chip cookies and serve.



Facebook Comments


- This is budino, it's an Italian custard, it's delicious. I put cookies and cream on top of it because I'm Italian American. How good is it, Frank? The proof was in this pudding. Let's make it. The first thing you have to do is get your sugar and your corn starch into a pan. You're gonna add a pinch of salt to it. A very overlooked ingredient in desserts. Salt opens up taste buds on your tongue so it actually enables you to taste sweetness even better than you would normally. So that is mixed up, it's nice and smooth and now we will add egg yolks. We're gonna add some heavy cream, we're gonna add some milk. Alright, here we've got vanilla extract and a vanilla bean. Vanilla bean needs to be, this is the only thing you need a knife for. You split it down the middle like that, open it up and then you come in with a knife like that. See that? Seeds go in and you know what, even though we took the vanilla bean out of the vanilla bean stalk, put the stalk in there too because we'll filter it after. Now, you bring this up to heat very slowly and homogenize. So budino, which is an Italian pudding, is the cousin of panna cotta. Panna cotta literally means cooked cream. What are we doing? We're cooking cream, interesting. So, what we're trying to do here is get this consistency to be a lot thicker than that. See how it rolls of the back of the spoon? We're looking for something called nappe. It's a consistency thing. Nappe is French for tablecloth and it is referring, I suppose, to how you would cover this if it were a table. You know, relatively low heat, you don't want the eggs to cook. Guys this is the tablecloth setting we're looking for, you see that? See how it's hanging on there, how it's covering our table? That is where we want it to be and it's a like a purgatory for the egg yolk between cooked and raw. So all we have to do now. Here we're filtering out any lumps that may of been in there. Really nice and thick, that's gonna be great. Panna cotta, cooked cream, egg yolk. Now, if you get a little stuck here as particles begin to sit, you just come in with the spoon on the top, push it right through. Now, and this isn't so much to cover it from the odors in your fridge, it's more about getting the cling film in contact with the top of the budino so you get, you know that skin that forms. Sometimes it happens with soups or sauces. This way, the skin forms directly on the cling wrap and then you're just able to pull it right out. Cause you don't want to be like digging through a layer, you want this completely homogeneous pudding like texture and the cling film makes that happen. Our vanilla budini are all done and these are gonna go in the fridge for at least three hours. So like you should make these at breakfast time and then have them at dinner. Fridge. These have been in the fridge for a very long time and they've magically transformed into a delicious Italian custard cream. This is what would have formed the skin that is nonexistent, very important. Okay, so there, we have four. How bout some whipped cream? I think that's a great idea. Why would I do this? Because I'm Italian American. This is an Italian dessert and Americans put whipped cream on everything. So whipped cream, which is one of the great joys of life of course, love it, and little chocolate chip cookies. There you go. Alright so vanilla budino which is the cousin of cooked cream, panna cotta, with whipped cream and chocolate cookie crumbled all over top and it's super delicious, like of course it would be super delicious, why wouldn't this be delicious? Really smooth texture, little bit of crunch from the cookie. So, you take a classical Italian pudding, you add cookies and cream, which is the most American thing ever, and you've got cookies and cream pudding and it's delicious. Eat it. Make it first, then eat it.

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