Chocolate Semolina Pudding with Raspberry Puree

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Makes: 9 to 12 servings Time: 1 hour

Somewhere between a cake and pudding, this lovely dessert is served warm, with a simple raspberry puree that balances its richness. Other fruits that work well here include stone fruits, but (except for cherries) they have to be peeled first (page 149). Figure on about a pound of fruit for just over a cup of puree.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, plus butter for the pan
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup (2 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup semolina
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound fresh raspberries
Sugar (optional)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Put the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add cocoa powder and semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat.

2 Beat the yogurt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter and chocolate, the semolina, the baking soda, and the vanilla; beat until thoroughly blended. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until the pudding is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, puree the raspberries in a blender or food processor. Depending on how flavorful they are, you may want to add a tablespoon of sugar or a squeeze of lemon juice to the mixture, but taste first to see if either is necessary. Then strain the puree, stirring and pressing the mixture through a sieve with a rubber spatula to leave any seeds behind; be sure to get all the puree from the underside of the strainer.

4 When the pudding is done, let it rest for a few minutes, then cut it into squares or rectangles and serve warm, on some of the puree, with a few whole berries on top.