We know I am not a chocolate fan, but I ADORE caramel and butterscotch in all forms.
Rich and sweet and buttery and salty...what's not to love? I have been known to make "All About Caramel Cake", Sea Salt Caramel ice cream, a butterscotch tart, Christmas caramels dipped in chocolate and sea salt, caramel cookies, caramel-topped cheesecake, and most recently a caramel apple pie, but THIS recipe is AMAZING!
Since the recipe was posted in the NYTimes, it has been floating around "blogland", and I recently saw it on my friend, Janie's blog, Panini Girl. On her recommendation, I HAD to try it!
IF you're a foodie, you've undoubtedly heard of Pizzeria Mozza (and also Osteria Mozza) opened by the well-known Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich in Los Angeles. I enjoyed a great meal there at a Slow Travel Get-together back in 2007. It has fabulous pizza (I still remember my "Pizza Bianca" with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere & sage, as well as Brad's fennel sausage, panna, red onion and scallions pizza.) This budino (pudding) was not on the menu then. I would have ordered it. As it turns out, I had caramel gelato. 90% of the time, I do not order dessert in restaurants. If there is something caramel or butterscotch on a menu, all bets are off.
I think this is a perfect fall dessert, and a big thank you to Chef Nancy Silverton!
You must try not just the budino, but the caramel sauce and whipped cream-creme fraiche topping that goes with it. Oh MY! It is somewhere between "sinful" and "heaven". Here is the recipe:
Butterscotch Budino with Caramel sauce
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
To make budino, in a large bowl, combine the cream and milk and set aside.
In a large, heavy pot, combine brown sugar, water, and salt and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from scorching, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture is a deep brown and smells nutty and caramelized. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk the cream mixture into the caramelized sugar to stop the cooking. The mixture will steam vigorously and the sugar will seize. Use caution to keep from getting burned by the bubbling mixture. Whisk until smooth and the caramel is fully incorporated. Return to high heat, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch. While whisking constantly, add about half of the caramel cream, 1/2 cup at a time, to the egg mixture. Pour the combined mixtures back into the saucepan holding the remaining caramel cream and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until a very thick custard forms.
Remove the custard from the heat and whisk in the butter and rum. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into ten 3/4-cup ramekins or glasses, dividing it evenly and filling to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until well chilled, or for up to 3 days.
Caramel sauce and topping
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
About 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup crème fraiche
1 1/4 teaspoons Maldon salt
To make the caramel sauce, pour the cream into a small saucepan. With the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds from the split vanilla bean into the bowl, and then add the pod. Place the pan over medium heat and heat for about 3 minutes, or until the cream comes to a simmer. Add the butter, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Have ready a large bowl filled with ice water. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the corn syrup and sugar. Add enough of the water to make a wet, sandy texture. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan slightly to gauge the caramelization, for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar turns a medium amber.
Remove from the heat, add the cream mixture — be careful, as it will steam and bubble vigorously — and whisk to combine. Place the pan in the ice-water bath and let cool.
In a chilled bowl, whip the cream with a whisk until it begins to thicken. Add the crème fraiche and beat until thick and fluffy. This may be done up to 3 hours ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Just before serving, remove ramekins from the refrigerator. Reheat the sauce over medium heat, discard the vanilla pod, and spoon 1 tablespoon of the sauce over each budino. Top each with about 1/8 teaspoon Malclon salt and a dollop of the whipped cream.