Daydreaming leads to distractions...
We invited friends over for dinner this weekend and I had planned to make these lovely dulce de leche pots de crème. The recipe involved heating, whisking, straining a custard then delivering it to a gentle bath in a warm oven followed by some cool down time in the fridge. Alas, weekends are too short and the first day of our weekend was warm. We found ourselves lingering over brunch with good friends we hadn’t seen in a while and strolled along our merry way, popping into local shops for a little bit of this and little bit of that for our dinner. By the time we got home, I realized my carefree strolling had cost us several hours… So instead of making this slightly laborious little custard which is absolutely worth it on any other given day, I decided to present the same flavour in its simplified, ten-minute version.
While my husband loves gooey chocolately things, I’ve always held a preference for wobbly delicate custards and puddings. If time permitted, calories weren’t a consideration and desserts were left entirely up to me, we would slip into crème brulees, pots de crèmes, panna cottas and my absolute favourite, Iles Flottantes (a heavenly convergence of custard and poached meringue) nightly. The combination of cream, milk, sugar, eggs whisked over gentle heat transform into a quivering, velvety smooth, creamy sweet ending to a meal. Bliss.
I had thought about making a butterscotch pudding but we had some lovely dulce de leche in our fridge and I will take any excuse to eat it. Dulce de Leche is Argentina’s gift to the culinary world: a slowly simmered mixture of milk and sugar stirred lovingly until it develops into thick golden, caramel spread. While it is great on toast, it is even better here.
Although this pudding takes no more than ten minutes of cooking time, it is so flavourful and light that you’re hardly miss that pot de crème.
Dulce de Leche Pudding
1c heavy cream
2c whole milk
6 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp dulce de leche
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter
toasted almond slivers/flakes
1. Add cream, 1 1/2c of milk, and brown sugar to a heavy saucepan. Whisk over medium-heat.
2. Bring to a slight boil, turn down to low. Whisk in the dulce de leche.
3. Mix cornstarch with remaining milk until smooth. Pour cornstarch slurry into the pudding.
4. Turn up the heat slightly. Continue to whisk well.
5. Once it thickens, remove off heat immediately and pour in vanilla and butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
6. Working quickly, ladle pudding into ramekins or cups and cover loosely with cling film so the heat can still escape. Once cool, fit the cling film tightly over the ramekins and refrigerate until ready to serve.
7. To serve, top with whipped cream slightly sweetened with vanilla and icing sugar and toasted almonds.
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