This Friday is 10 on the 10th! No, no, not the discount day at ACG (though it IS that one, too), but the ten year anniversary of my becoming Mrs. Loves Food. In honor of mine and Mr.’s decade of pure wedded bliss (HAHAHA!), I am sharing a recipe for a decadent budino, ideal for topping off a romantic dinner for two.
My love of budino began around the time I got married, after trying the chocolate version at Nostrana. Where this Italian treat is usually like a pudding or custard, theirs is like a moist, dense cake, perfect with a sprinkle of flake salt. It was love at first bite. Shortly after I began experimenting at home, and this butterscotch version with rosemary-pine nut cookies became a staple on my Thanksgiving dinner menu. The setting time required makes these recipes perfect for making a day or two ahead. I use Mason jars as ramekins so that I can pop the lids on, stack them in the fridge, and forget about them until serving time! Easy to make, impressive to look at, and delicious to eat; what else could you ask for in a dessert?!?
A note on ingredients: I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but use the best you can find! Since eggs make up a big part of this, the quality is extra important vs. when using just one in a cake or something. The same goes for the dairy. You can taste it in there, so use whatever milk and cream you like the flavor of best. If you use poor quality ingredients, it simply won’t taste as good, period. I personally opted for Deck Farms eggs and Sunshine Dairy products. If you’re going to take the time to make this rich, creamy, vanilla-flecked sauce topped masterpiece, you may as well make it right!
Also, though I posted this recipe in honor of my wedding anniversary, I’ve found that it’s just as tasty when eaten alone when curled up with a good book as it is when celebrating with Mr. Loves Food. Just don’t tell him that.
- 3 C whole milk, divided
- 1/3 C cornstarch *
- 3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 2 tsp dark rum
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4C + 2 T heavy cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 T light corn syrup
- 1/4 C unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
- 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 thermometer reads 210°F-220°F.
- 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 an instantread thermometer registers 175°F, 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.
- 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 cold butter and salt. Strain into a heatproof measuring cup. Let cool slightly.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons caramel sauce over each budino. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle some of reserved cookie crumbs over each.
*The original recipe calls for 1/4C cornstarch, but I increased it to ensure a proper set.