Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This just in....I like Butterscotch pudding

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Let's talk about pudding. Butterscotch pudding to be more specific.

I have had a thing about butterscotch for years. And it's not a good thing. I haven't touched a butterscotch candy since about 1978.

My grandma Madge used to keep a tin of hard candies in her Buick. These candies would sit in the tin on the little ledge behind the back seat baking in the hot Florida sun. The entire car smelled like butterscotch.

I'm prone to getting car sick. So riding in the back of that Buick smelling those candies and her perfume just about did me in. It was a nauseating smell. Now don't get me wrong, I loved my grandmother. She had a passion for cooking and baking just like me. It was the car and candies I disliked.

The totally ironic thing is that in 1989 I GOT THAT CAR. And it still smelled the EXACT SAME. Only worse. Much, much worse. But we'll save that story for another time.

So a few years ago we were in a fancy schmancy restaurant here. Butterscotch pudding was on the menu for dessert. Ick. No way am I getting that. Blech.

We asked the waiter what he recommended for dessert. "Hands down, the butterscotch pudding. It's the most popular dessert here." he said, full of butterscotch spirit.

"Are you kidding me? Really? Ugh." was my response. I hate butterscotch.

"It's really delicious, you should try it. I guarantee you'll like it." he said.

"Ok. Bring it on. Let's give it a try." I said.

A few minutes later he brought over the most beautiful little dish of pudding which was topped with a dollop of whipped cream. It was so good. It did not taste like the candy I remembered at all. It was creamy and yummy. We practically licked the bowl clean. And I have been thinking about it ever since. Not everyday. But I do think of it from time to time. (I have food on the brain 24-7.)

So today I am flipping through the February issue of Marin Magazine and guess what? They have a feature on Scott Howard, a local chef, and his favorite dessert recipe....Butterscotch Pudding. Ha!

So now I have to run to the store and buy butterscotch chips. And heavy cream. And eggs. And a vanilla bean. Pretty much everything but the 1/8 cup of sugar. Buh bye.

Here's the recipe in case you want to try it too.

Butterscotch Pudding (picture from Marin Magazine)

Butterscotch Pudding
(from chef Scott Howard, Brick & Bottle restaurant)

6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
5 ounces butterscotch chips
Whipped cream topping (Homemade or canned. You decide.)

1. Split and scrape vanilla bean into a sauce pot with the cream and bring to a simmer.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until blended. Yolks should be lightly pale.
3. Slowly ladle 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the yolks to temper them, then pour the yolk mixture into the remaining cream in the sauce pot. Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.
4. Place butterscotch chips in a large mixing bowl and pour the hot liquid over the chips and whisk until the chips are completely melted.
5. Portion into ramekins.
6. Refrigerate until fully chilled and set, approximately 3-4 hours.

Serves 2- 6

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