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From the Kitchen: Caramel Budino with Fluer de Sel Caramel Sauce

January 30, 2012

Recently, we’ve adopted a new ritual with two of our favorite foodies. Every Wednesday, we meet up for dinner, either out or homemade, and watch Top Chef together. It’s something that has quickly become my favorite part of the week. At our last gathering, Frank and Denise offered up an incredibly delicious made-from-scratch albondigas soup and I brought dessert, a mouth-watering salted caramel budino (Italian for pudding). To call this dessert pudding just sounds wrong. The term “pudding” conjures up images of a late 80’s Bill Cosby and colorful cardboard boxes bearing sugary powdered substances. With its smooth, velvety texture, elevated caramel flavor and subtle salty notes that surprise your taste buds, this confection has truly earned the exotic title of Budino and is a current front-runner on my list of favorite desserts. Recipe after the jump. Enjoy!

P.S. Check out this recipe for fluer de sel caramels, they’re amazing and make a delicious gift!

Caramel Budino with Fluer de Sel Salted Caramel Sauce (adapted from Bon Appetite)


Cookie Crust

  • 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
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 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 fluer de sel


Cookie Crust

  • Mix cookie crumbs, butter, and salt in a medium bowl. Press 1 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, 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

  • Mix cream and vanilla in a small pitcher. 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.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2012 8:22 am

    Oh my gosh. I want this!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      January 30, 2012 8:40 am

      Yes. Yes, you do :) it’s pretty incredible and soooooo easy to make! Try it!

  2. ringfingertanline permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:44 am

    those need to get in my mouth.

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