Monday, October 1, 2012

Butterscotch Pudding Cups with Salted Caramel and Toasted Marshmallows

So, I am in the "Genealogy Capitol of the World" aka Salt Lake City for work this meeting.  Did I have to Google things to do in Salt Lake City to discover this?  Yes.  Am I actually going to be doing anything on the list of things to do in Salt Lake City?  No.  Will I be enjoying the many local breweries?  Most likely.  Will I totally enjoy the view from hotel room while I can?  Definitely.  And lastly, will I being enjoying the crazy awesome pancakes and banana brulee oatmeal at The Grand America? Yes, Yes, Yes

Hey Salt Lake!  Happy Sunday!

Well, it is official.  Another meeting season has started and the first one was actually two weeks ago up in Connecticut at The Study.  The other Lauren in the office, who also happened to make these awesome Salted Caramel Butter Bars, ran the meeting and came back with this challenge. She had the butterscotch pudding for dessert at The Study, and came back with the challenge for me to try and recreate it.  This was my go at it, and if nothing else, having never made pudding from scratch before, I learned that butterscotch pudding can actually have whiskey in it.  Who knew?  Plus, it just gave me another excuse to use my crème brûlée torch.  Did I happen to go around the office for a few minutes handing out marshmallows and toasting them on people forks that day too? Maybe.  

The pudding though came out creamy and sweet.  The salted caramel added a smooth earthy tone to the dish.  And well the toasted marshmallow...I think it just speaks for itself.  So, if you have a bit of extra time, I totally recommend making your own pudding.  It really doesn't take all that much extra time at all; just a few extra ingredients.  Enjoy!

Salted caramel making time.  Definitely okay to make this a day in advance.

brown sugar for the pudding + salt

whole milk + corn starch

Butter, brown sugar and salt into the pot to melt down.

Off the heat add in the cornstarch with milk, plus the remaining milk and eggs.

Butterscotch Pudding: (recipe from David Liebovitz)
*4-6 servings
4 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
1 cup packed dark brown 
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large marshmallows

1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup (60ml) of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.

3. Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.

4. Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey and vanilla. If slightly-curdled looking, blend as indicated above.

6. Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving.

Salted Caramel: (recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.

Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

2. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.

3. As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously.

Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce.  Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

5. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You’ll want to warm the sauce up before using.

To Assemble:
1.  Place slightly cooled butterscotch into small cups are jars, I used a cookie scoop.  Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.  

2.  Once pudding has chilled, using a spoon cover the top of the pudding with about 1/4 inch of caramel sauce.  Set back into the refrigerator if not serving right away.  

3.  Right before serving, top with a large marshmallow and toast using a creme brulee torch.  Serve and Enjoy!

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