More years ago than I care to remember, I went to Zingerman’s Roadhouse for dinner. It wasn’t my favorite for a variety of reasons, but I requested that they make their signature butterscotch pudding for dessert since it wasn’t on the menu at the time. They obliged, and I couldn’t be happier. It was sublime. Heavenly. Impossibly good.
I vowed to make butterscotch pudding shortly thereafter since I loved it. And then life happened, and I made other things, and butterscotch pudding hadn’t been in my life for a very long time.
Finally that changed when I made this recipe. I had the ingredients and the need for butterscotch pudding in my life, along with a reminder of a different, maybe not even worse or better, time in my life. After one bite, I wished I hadn’t waited so long. This pudding is as good if not better than the one I remember from Zingerman’s.
It’s silky smooth, not too sweet or heavy, and flecked with vanilla bean. I topped it with more caramel with bold espresso for a complementary flavor that again keeps the dessert from becoming too sweet. It might not be necessary, but then again, maybe it is 🙂 Garnishes are up to you but the crunch of hazelnuts and tart pop of raspberries adds to the flavor and texture profile of the pudding that really makes them more than garnishes.
Clearly I won’t be waiting years to make this again because it’s easy enough to make for no reason and elegant enough to make for an occasion of any kind.Print
Smooth and creamy pudding with a layer of espresso caramel and a few garnishes for a decadent dessert.
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup water
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons bourbon
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Make the pudding. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the seeds as well as the pod. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, but occasionally swirling, until golden amber, up to 10 minutes. Carefully whisk in the cream and almond milk until the mixture comes together.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and tapioca. Slowly whisk in some of the hot cream mixture until the egg bowl is warm to the touch. Then add the egg mixture to the pot with the cream mixture and whisk constantly until the pudding thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it is fully incorporated. Finally stir in the bourbon, remove the vanilla bean pod, and pour into the serving vessels of your choice. Cool at room temperature 30 minutes, and then refrigerate until completely chilled.
Make the salted caramel. Note: any caramel you have on hand will be a great addition to this recipe. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, syrup, and water. Place over medium heat and cook without stirring, but occasionally swirling, until deep amber, 10-12 minutes. Carefully add the cream, butter, espresso, and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt. Cool at room temperature about 30 minutes before spooning on top of pudding, garnishing, and serving.
Pudding may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but should not be topped with caramel or garnish until ready to serve. Caramel may be made up to 1 week ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes