Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Salted Caramel Budino
Tonight I was trying to remember what I used to while away the hours with on the internet before I found food blogging. It was then that I realized how many phases I have gone through in my life. There was orchids, kayaks, all things related to natural history, painting, and jewelry making to name a few. Not to mention my never ending obsession with traveling and my vagabond career habits for many years. The internet is an amazing place for a daydreamer. The great thing about the internet and my interest in food is that almost nothing is out of reach. A few months ago I saw an article about this Salted Caramel Budino at a restaurant in Philadelphia called Barbuzzo. Although Philadelphia might not be possible, a little internet sleuthing pulled up the recipe for the Budino. The first time I made this recipe I took the one straight from tasting table and I felt it was missing something, after further research I found that the one in the restaurant actually has a chocolate cookie crust. I added it to the next batch and they turned out perfect.
Salted Caramel Budino
adapted from Tasting Table
30 Chocolate Wafer Cookies (yielding about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably grade B), or add 1/4 teaspoon of maple extract to regular maple syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2½ cups half-and-half
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the crust: Add chocolate wafer cookies, melted butter, and salt for the crust to the bowl of a food processer. Process until fine crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom of 8 four ounce ramekins or mason jars. You could use 4 eight ounce containers, but I found this dessert to be very rich and only needed a four ounce serving. Place the jars in oven for 6-8 minutes or until you can smell the chocolate. Don't over bake or allow to burn. Set jars aside to cool while making the remaining mixture.
Make the salted caramel: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil over high heat, swirling to caramelize evenly. When the caramel reaches a dark amber color (or just a bit before) remove from the heat and carefully add the cream. (The mixture will steam and splatter, be careful not to burn yourself) Add the butter, sea salt and vanilla and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Make the pudding: In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, water and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the mixture darkens slightly in color. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half until smooth.
In a large, heatproof mixing bowl, whisk the whole egg with the egg yolks and cornstarch until combined. Whisk in the maple-syrup-brown-sugar mixture in a slow, thin stream. Pour the mixture into the saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens in texture, about 5 minutes.
Divide the pudding among the ramekins or jars and top each with 1/8 of the caramel. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Sprinkle the top of the puddings with sea salt before serving.