Dessert for Valentine’s Dinner this year was Caramel Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce. The word ‘budino’ is Italian for pudding and I can say personally that Italian puddings are really mouth-watering, at least this budino was. There were several different steps to this dessert but it was well worth the effort.
When I first saw the recipe at Bon Appétit I was bowled over and I knew that T would love it. The budino is made with caramel syrup you make and add to the milk and egg mixture, then the salted caramel sauce-topping is all you could want it to be and add fresh whipped cream to the mix and it was beyond expectancy.
I needed chocolate wafers and T was making the run… he wanted to know what I needed plain chocolate wafers for and I wanted to surprise him and told him to please just get them. He came home with Nabisco Chocolate Teddy Grahams… but to my surprise they were perfect. A deep chocolate flavor and made the perfect cookie crust. I even decided to be whimsical and instead of garnishing with the cookie crust crumbs on top I put a Teddy Graham on top of each, it was Valentine’s Day and added to the love I feel for T and all that he does for me. He loved the Budino and he loved the fact that I put a teddy on each. It was his decision to buy the teddies and now he is a gourmet cook (didn’t you know!) He made mention that he should or could be making more decisions on the finishing touches on our plated food! I will let him! Should have… Could have… Would have… We will see!
I will add the recipe here, there seems to be a problem with the connection (part of the time) at Bon Appétit:
- 1 cup finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers; 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
- 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
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
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. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle some of reserved cookie crumbs over each.
The dinner was a week late with all that has gone on, but each Valentine’s Day I try to make a special dinner for T. Between the stuffed pork chops and apple, peach salad it was a wonderful meal. I do not like getting flowers, chocolates or gifts of any kind for Valentine’s Day. A card that puts a smile on my face is all I need and that is not mandatory! Just love me for me, which is all I can ask….