Sunday, March 20, 2016

Salted caramel budino (Italian style pudding)

Rich, creamy and luscious caramel budino is what dreams are made of! A thick and rich homemade Italian-style pudding is topped with a layer of salted caramel sauce. You'll want to lick the jars!

Last month, I traveled out of town for work. The town I was visiting was only a short drive away from my college roommate (Hi, E!). She and I made plans to have dinner together since we don't get to see each other much throughout the year.

We originally hoped to dine at an up-and-coming tapas bar, but they were closed on Mondays. So we walked across the street to a well-liked pizzeria place that neither of us had been to. After stuffing ourselves with pizza, we looked at the dessert menu and one thing popped out at us: a chocolate budino. I was admittedly embarrassed to not know what the term meant, so we asked our waitress. She said that it was an Italian-style pudding. Sold.

Our chocolate budino had 2 distinct layers with a light drizzle of olive oil and flaky sea salt on top. I have been dreaming about that budino and am still searching for a similar recipe that I can make at home. While I was looking around the internets, I came across this salted caramel budino that sounded just as good.

I can't even begin to tell you how creamy and luscious this budino was. The pudding layer was just slightly sweet but super thick and rich. Then the caramel sauce on top made it over the top amazing and made me want to eat all the servings in one sitting (thankfully, I controlled myself this time). Both Addie and her babysitter got to try some one evening, and each lady finished off her portion with no hesitation.

If you are a fan of salted caramel desserts, this budino is definitely for you.

Salted caramel budino
  • 1 batch salted caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (I used light and it turned out fine)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks 
  • 3 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 and 1/2 cups half and half
Directions
In a medium sized saucepan, mix and maple syrup, brown sugar, water and salt. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it bubble for about 5 minutes until the mixture darkens a bit.

While the mixture is boiling, whisk the egg, egg yolks and corn starch together in a large bowl until everything is uniform. Set aside.

Once the maple syrup mixture has slightly darkened, take the saucepan off the heat and add the half and half. Whisk constantly and be careful, as it will probably bubble up vigorously. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. Slowly drizzle this into the egg yolk mixture and keep mixing until everything is well incorporated.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens into the consistency of pudding.

Divide the pudding into ramekins, clear glasses, or any other serving container (clear ones work best so you can see the finished layered dessert). Top the pudding with the salted caramel sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

Budinos should be stored (covered) in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: About 4-6 servings

Source: Salted caramel sauce from here; budino from I Can Cook That

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