Salted Caramel Budino

Never did I think I would be such a fan of pudding, but here we are. I’ve never liked the goopy (yes, that’s the formal term) texture of pudding, nor did I like the artificially chocolate-y/vanilla-y flavored cups that would be offered at lunch in grade school.

However, I had a bite of a salted caramel budino at a restaurant per a friend’s recommendation, and that all changed. I knew I had to try to make the recipe for myself, and as my friends have told me, it’s one of their favorite things that I’ve made — so I share it with you, my friends!

A light yet rich base of custard, a dollop of decadent salted caramel, and a sprinkle of flaky salt. You can’t go wrong.

  • Budino base
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks

    Salted caramel sauce
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. flaky sea salt (I love Maldon)
  • For a step-by-step video on how to make the caramel sauce, check out the tutorial in my Instagram Highlights
  1. To make the budino base: melt the butter and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly until the brown sugar melts down. The mixture will first be granular, then clumpy, then slowly begin to melt into a smooth, deep brown reduction. Once this happens, add the corn starch and whisk to combine until no lumps remain.
  2. Slowly pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly. Add the milk. Your brown sugar mixture may harden, but that’s okay. Let the milk mixture warm up, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Continue to whisk the milk mixture until it comes to a gentle boil.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Begin to whisk the egg yolks and slowly add in a tablespoon of the milk mixture — don’t stop whisking! Continue to add 1 tablespoon of the milk mixture until ~1 cup is added to the egg yolks.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the pan and continue to whisk gently for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and transfer to a metal or glass bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the mixture, ensuring it clings to the budino batter.
  7. Refrigerate until serving.
  8. To make the salted caramel sauce: follow the instructions highlighted in my Instagram Highlight here. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until it becomes a deep amber color, about 5-7 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream and salt. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a mason jar (or another heat-proof jar) to cool.
  10. To assemble the budinos, add 1/4 cup of the batter into a shooter glass or custard dish, and top with 1 tbsp of salted caramel. Sprinkle some flaky salt on top to garnish – best served slightly chilled, right out of the fridge.
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