Sanguinaccio Dolce Recipe (Easy and Elegant Italian Chocolate Dessert)

Sanguinaccio dolce is a popular Italian pudding made from pig’s blood that is made creamy and sweetened with ingredients such as milk, chocolate, pine nuts, sugar, and raisins. In Naples, it’s traditionally prepared for Carnevale – the feast day before Lent. It’s also found in other regions of Italy where there are local variations in the degree of which it is served warm and runny for dipping or allowed to set and formed into a pudding or cake.

Sanguinaccio Dolce

The dessert appears in the TV series Hannibal as a favorite of Hannibal Lecter. So, you can make Hannibal’s Sanguinaccio Dolce without blood for an amazingly easy, elegant Italian chocolate dessert. I usually prepare this dessert when I don’t have much time to make something sweet in the kitchen and my family desperately wants to have a treat. Here is the recipe:


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 42 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 22 grams (3 tbsp.) all-purpose flour
  • (1/3 cup) chopped good-quality dark chocolate (70% +)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


Directions:Sanguinaccio Dolce

  • In a medium pot combine milk and your cinnamon stick. Heat over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until just before simmering. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa powder, sugar, and flour.
  • Slowly whisk in hot milk, doing your best not to allow lumps to form. Mix well and return mixture to the pot.
  • Whisk constantly over medium-low heat until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, 4 to 8 minutes.
  • Whisk in chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat, and mix in vanilla.
  • Cool slightly before serving.

Buon appetito!



This pudding is delicious warm and at room temperature, but as it cools, the surface may begin to look dull. Don’t worry. Just give it a good stir right before serving to return its luster.

DON’T skip sifting where the recipe calls for it. If there are lumps in your cocoa powder, there will be lumps in your pudding and you will not be able to get rid of them!

If you want to serve your Sanguinaccio Dolce like Hannibal, the simplest way to hollow out an orange is to cut it in half and run a spoon between the fruit and the pith. Keep working all the way down until you can pop most of the fruit out and use your spoon to scrape out the last bit at the bottom.
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