Best Pastry Chefs | Cocoa Pudding
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The beloved pastry chef of San Francisco's State Bird Provisions maintains a pared-down menu of only four rotating items: a granita, a cake or tart, a pudding and an ice cream sandwich. But from this tight sugar square emerge some of the most inventive and delicious desserts in the country.
The key: balance. Krasinski has a gift for juggling multiple balls, whether it's on the plate, running the business with her husband (and the restaurant's chef), Stuart Brioza, or being mom to two-year-old Jasper.
Krasinski uses cocoa instead of chocolate in her take on classic pudding, which she first started making while she was pastry chef at San Francisco's now-shuttered Rubicon. "The flavor of cocoa has an acid note that really balances the sugar in a way that chocolate doesn't. And the smell of cocoa cooking in the oven makes everyone go nuts," she says.
Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 25 minutes (plus 3 hours to chill)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving