BUTTERSCOTCH BUDINO WITH CARAMEL SAUCE

Serves 10.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Adapted, via the Los Angeles Times, from chef/co-owner Nancy Silverton and pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.

For the budino:

• 3 c. heavy cream

• 1 1/2 c. milk

• 1 egg

• 3 egg yolks

• 5 tbsp. cornstarch

• 1 c. plus 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• 5 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

• 1 1/2 tbsp. dark rum

 

For the topping:

• 1/4 c. heavy cream

• 3/4 c. crème fraîche

• 1 1/4 tsp. fleur de sel

Directions

To prepare budino: In a large bowl or pitcher, combine cream and milk and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks and cornstarch and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup water and salt. Let sit until edges start to brown, then tilt pot as needed to even the browning until mixture becomes a smoking, dark caramel, about 10 to 12 minutes. Sugar will smell caramelized and nutty and turn a deep brown.

Immediately whisk cream mixture carefully into the caramel (the mixture will steam and the sugar will seize). Reduce heat to medium, whisk until caramel is smoothly incorporated into cream and bring mixture to a rapid boil.

Add a cupful of caramel at a time to egg mixture, whisking constantly, until half is incorporated. Pour tempered egg mixture back into remaining caramel. Remove from heat and whisk constantly until custard is very thick and cornstarch is cooked out, about 2 minutes. Whisk in butter and rum.

Pass custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps and divide among 10 (6-ounce) ramekins, leaving one-half inch at the top. Cover with plastic wrap, allow to cool and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or up to three days.

To prepare topping, and assemble: In a chilled bowl using a wire whisk, whip cream until it begins to thicken. Add crème fraîche and whip until thick and fluffy.

Before serving, warm the caramel sauce (see Recipe) over medium heat. Spoon 1 tablespoon caramel sauce on each budino, add a dollop of whipped cream/crème fraîche topping, sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel, and serve.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE

Serves 10.

 

• 1/2 c. heavy cream

• 1/8 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 2 tbsp. corn syrup

• 1/2 c. sugar

Directions

Add cream to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into cream and cook until simmering, about 3 minutes. Add butter and remove from heat. Whisk until butter is melted and incorporated, and set aside.

Fill a large bowl (large enough to accommodate a large heavy-bottomed saucepan) with ice water and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine corn syrup and sugar. Add enough water (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make a wet sandy texture and cook, swirling the pan just slightly to gauge the caramelization, until sugar becomes a medium amber color, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, carefully whisk cream mixture into caramel (be careful — it will steam and bubble). Whisk to combine. Place saucepan in prepared bowl of ice water to cool. Refrigerate, then reheat before serving.