Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Maple Budino

Maple Budino with Sea Salt and Almond Tuile

My wife made a special Valentine's Day request for Karen DeMasco's Maple Budino from Locanda Verde (a very thorough review from Bite Buff here). Buried in my nearly one hundred unfinished posts is my review of this restaurant in NYC that is cranking out some awesome food (by not one, but two James Beard award winning native Clevelanders chef Andrew Carmellini and pastry chef Karen DeMasco). Ironically enough, I also making the pork chops from Carmellini's recipe in The Niman Ranch Cookbook, for dinner (recipe here).

So here it is Valentine's Day and I've already been given my marching orders on the Maple Budino . It seemed like fate when I opened up the Plain Dealer I saw an article on Cleveland native. In the article the dessert is actually referenced. How crazy is that?

This isn't just a plate of pudding. The New York Times' Sam Sifton voted this sterling dessert as one of his "eleven most memorable dishes of 2009".One would think that making a dessert as good as this would have a certain amount of difficulty, but this is about as easy as it gets. You can make them a couple of days in advance without fear of any degradation. While the original at the restaurant comes with candied pecans, I opted to sprinkle a little Hawaiian sea salt on top and add an almond tuile. My wife's friend described it as french toast without the bread.

This recipe is not from Karen's new cookbook Craft of Baking, but I highly recommend checking it out. Many of her recipes encourage the reader to freestyle and create their own twist on the recipe.

Maple Budino by Karen DeMasco
(makes 6 servings)

  • 1 cup maple syrup (preferably grade B)
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Fill a kettle with water and place over high heat to bring to a boil. In a 4 to 6 quart saucepan, bring maple syrup to a boil and cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream, salt and vanilla.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, yolks and brown sugar. Add about a third of the cream mixture, and whisk to blend. Pour into remaining cream mixture and whisk until well blended. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Divide evenly among six 8-ounce ramekins, and place in a deep metal baking or roasting pan (using a glass or ceramic pan may increase baking time). Carefully add enough boiling water to pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan securely with foil to seal it closed.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate pan, release steam by lifting foil cover and replace foil securely. Continue baking — rotating pan, releasing steam and re-covering every 15 to 20 minutes — until custards are completely set around edges and slightly loose in centers, about an hour more.

4. Remove pan from oven, remove foil and allow custards to come to room temperature in water bath. Remove from pan, cover each custard with plastic wrap (not touching surface) or a small plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days before serving.

Almond Tuile by Johnny Iuzzini from Dessert Fourplay
  • 4 teaspoon (22g) water
  • generous tablespoon (22g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (37g) unsalted butter
  • scant 1/2 cup (75g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 5-1/2 ounces (150g) sliced almonds, chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F or 325 degrees F on convection. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or use a nonstick baking sheet.
  2. Put the water, honey, and butter in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter is melted.
  3. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and flour together. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Stir in the nuts.
  4. Use a small ice cream scoop (1-tablespoon capacity) to scoop up 1 tablespoon of the batter. Level off the top and drop onto the Silpat, leaving about 2 inches between each tuile (you should fit 6 on the baking sheet). Bake in batches until golden, about 14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let cool completely on the Silpat.

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