Friday, October 1, 2010

Caramel Pudding

So I've been wanting to replicate the butterscotch budino that I had with Cathy (aka Gastronomer) when she took me out to Pizzeria Mozza in LA. The recipe scares me a bit so I thought I'd take baby steps and start with a caramel pudding. Good thing. This is one of the instances when I experienced a big fail in the kitchen attempting the caramel. It involved calling my mom for help and whining like a baby; thankfully, she's very patient with me and I was able to make a successful batch of caramel my second time around. Baby steps, I guess...

Caramel Pudding

Caramel Pudding - Makes 6-8 servings
From Ricardo & Friends.

* 1-½ cups sugar
* 3 tbsp cornstarch
* 1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
* 2 cups milk
* 3 eggs
* ½ cup water
* ½ cup 35% cream
* ¼ cup cold salted butter, cut into cubes
* ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
* whipped cream, to serve with

In a saucepan off the heat, combine ¼ cup sugar, the cornstarch and the flour.
Add the milk and eggs and whisk until smooth.
Set aside.
Place the remaining 1-¼ cup sugar and the water in another saucepan and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.
Simmer without stirring until the mixture turns gold on medium heat, swirling the saucepan around if needed. BE patient - this will take several minutes, maybe around 10-15. (This is where it failed. I think the heat was too low and it turned into a crystal mess - that's mess, not meth).
Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until smooth.
Slowly pour the caramel into the egg mixture while whisking.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Simmer gently for about 1 minute.
Remove from the heat. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until smooth.
Pour the mixture into six 125-ml (½-cup) jars or ramekins.
Refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Serve with whipped cream (or maple whipped cream) or vanilla cookies.

Try #1 - Caramel FAIL!!

Making Caramel Making Caramel
Making Caramel Caramel FAIL!
My poor caramel turned into hard crystals. I was watching a cooking show this week that explained that once you have crystals, it will spread quickly. So keep swirling the pan around to prevent crystals forming on the sides.

Try #2 - Caramel SUCCESS!!

Making Caramel Caramel SUCCESS
Pouring cream Whisking the cream
The key is to be patient and wait until the sugar and water mixture turns into a golden colour. You will get rewarded by being able to add cream to your caramel!!

Making pudding Caramel Pudding
Whisking into the egg mixture to make a beautiful and cream golden brown pudding!

Ooof! Looking at these pictures increased my blood pressure! Hopefully, my failure will help another caramel pudding maker. Then it will not be for naught... The result was delicious! I was happy with the outcome. I'm glad to report that I made butterscotch later with success. Give me a few months and I may feel ready to atempt the budino...

Caramel Pudding Caramel Pudding
Eating a spoonful of caramel pudding is worth the effort!

1 comment:

Gastronomer said...

GO NINA!! Caramel scares me too. I've only made caramel sauces for thit kho, I'm not sure that counts though. Did you try sprinkling some coarse salt atop your pudding? That's what Nancy Silverton would do ;-)