Monday, September 12, 2011

Caramel Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce

I consider myself a lucky girl, for several reasons. One of which just happens to be that my husband is a great cook. We both share a passion for all things food related, including having our friends over to share in our culinary adventures. I tend to be a little more conservative with my attempts in the kitchen, while Nick likes to push his limits and try new things. He typically sticks to savory dishes and leaves the baking to me, but this past weekend, while hosting some friends for dinner, he decided to try his hand at a fantastic looking dish he found in the latest publication of Bon Appetit. Caramel Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce. Don't worry, I had no idea what it was supposed to be either. Budino is Italian for pudding. Caramel pudding, with a caramel sauce? Yes, please!

Yum, right? It was definitely a hit with everyone. Now, this isn't one of those dishes you can decide to make on the spur of the moment. It does take a little planning and preparation in advance since the pudding needs to set. And a little patience while you wait for the pudding to thicken. That being said, it's worth the extra effort for a show stopper dessert for your next dinner party.

Tips from the chef (Nick): I couldn't find chocolate wafers in our grocery store and opted for Oreos. I just removed the cream filling and used just the chocolate cookies. If you have better options than our small town grocery offers, I think the wafers would be a better choice, but know that Oreos will work in a pinch. Also, next time I would reduce the salt amount called for in the caramel sauce. A little seemed to go a long way and it almost verged on being too salty.

Caramel Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce
from Bon Appetit


Cookie Crust

  • 1 cup finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs (about 20 cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup(packed) dark brown sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Cookie Crust

  • Mix cookie crumbs, butter, and salt in a medium bowl. Place 2 tablespoons in a small bowl; cover and chill for garnish. Press 2 tablespoons cookie mixture onto the bottom of each of eight 8-ounce mason jars or ramekins.


  • Whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside. Heat remaining 2 1/2 cups milk in a small saucepan just to a simmer; set aside. To make caramel, stir sugar and 3/4 cup water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; cook without stirring until an instant-read thermometer registers 210°–220°
  • Line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and set over a large pitcher. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk, then cornstarch mixture. Slowly whisk in caramel. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and a thermometer registers 175°, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, rum, and salt. Pour through prepared sieve.
  • Pour 1/2 cup budino over crust in each jar. Cover; chill until set, 4–5 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Place cream in a small pitcher. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Set aside.
  • Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until deep amber color forms, 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat; gradually add vanilla cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Whisk over medium heat until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and salt. Strain into a heatproof bowl. Let cool slightly.
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons caramel sauce over each budino. Sprinkle some of reserved cookie crumbs over each.

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