I first made this recipe a few years ago and fell in love immediately. The combination of salty, sweet, smooth and crunchy make for a killer dessert. The only issue with this dessert? I want to eat it all in one night! It’s honestly an issue I have when caramel and chocolate cookie crust is put into one dessert.
Recipe: Salted Caramel Budino
Prep Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 10 mins Serves: 5
Ingredients for Cookie Crust
2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (I use about 20 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
5 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
Ingredients for Caramel
½ cup water
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup cream
½ teaspoon sea salt
Ingredients for Budino (Custard)
2 cups whole milk, divided
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoon cornstarch
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel from above
Ingredients for Whipped Cream
½ pint whipping cream
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
Instructions for Cookie Crust
Place the chocolate wafers in a large plastic bag and crush them with a wooden spoon. You can also put them in a food processor. I don’t crush them too finely because I like the pieces to be irregular in size.
Once you’ve crushed the cookies to a desired size, place in a bowl with melted butter and salt. Mix until the melted butter has been thoroughly incorporated.
Instructions for Caramel
Using a medium sized pot, add the water and granulated sugar. Turn the heat to medium. Don’t mix with a spoon. If you want to fully incorporate the sugar with the water, swirl the pot.
Heat up the sugar and water until it starts to caramelize in color. This will take longer than expected – about 5 minutes. I watch it closely because it can burn in a matter of seconds. Once it starts to turn a caramel color, turn off the heat and add the butter, cream and salt The mixture will bubble up rapidly. Once the bubbles subside, about 10 seconds, mix it with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat back on and continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes.
Instructions for Budino (Custard)
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of the whole milk and the cornstarch.
Using a medium sized pot, heat up the remaining whole milk. While that is heating up, put the egg yolks in a small bowl. Once the milk is hot to the touch, but not boiling, pour a small amount (¼ cup) of the milk in the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk the eggs while pouring the hot milk in. This will temper the yolks so they don’t curdle in the hot milk. Once combined, add it to the rest of the hot milk. Whisk swiftly while pouring egg mixture into hot milk. Then add the cornstarch mixture, all but ½ cup of caramel sauce, vanilla, and salt. Whisk continually until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mayo. I don’t stop whisking because the custard can burn or overcook quickly.
Instructions for Whipped Cream
In a large bowl, combine whipped cream and sugar. Using an electric mixer, mix until it reaches the desired consistency. It takes about 2-3 minutes.
Instructions for Assembling
In mason jars or serving container of choice, place about 2-3 tablespoons of cookie mixture on the bottom. Top that with about ½ cup of budino. At this point refrigerate the budinos. Have them cool completely. It takes about 2-3 hours. Once you are ready to serve, reheat the leftover caramel. I put the pot back on medium heat and add a few tablespoons of water. It only takes a minute or two. I don’t get it boiling, just heat enough so it’s pourable.
Pour 3 tablespoons of caramel on top of the budino and top with a large dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of more of the chocolate cookie crumbles.
If the caramel starts to solidify, I add a few tablespoons of water and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
I always use salted butter.