This Italian dessert is perfect for any occasion and is not only ideal for adults, but also for older adults!
700ml double cream
350ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
200g soft dark brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
90g unsalted butter
2 tbsp scotch whisky
CARAMEL SAUCE (TO SERVE)
700ml double cream
1 vanilla bean
4 tbsp unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
60g golden syrup
WHIPPED CREAM (TO SERVE)
240ml double cream, very cold
60g crème fraîche or soured cream, plus 1 tbsp
Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water and set a smaller bowl inside. Set a fine-mesh sieve over the smaller bowl. To make the budino, stir together the cream and milk in another bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and cornflour.
Put the sugar, 1 tsp of fine sea salt and 100ml of water in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is smoking, nutty smelling and a very dark caramel colour – the sugar will become foamy and lava-like with slow-bursting bubbles. Reduce the heat to low and immediately add the cream-milk mixture in a thin, steady stream, stirring with a whisk as you do – this stops the cooking process and prevents the sugar from burning, and will cause the sugar to harden. Increase the heat to high and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the seized sugar has dissolved and the mixture is liquid again. Turn off the heat.
Ladle out some of the hot mixture and gradually add it to the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking – continue until you have added half of the cream. Gradually add the contents of the bowl to the pan with the remaining caramel, stirring constantly with a whisk, and cook the custard over low heat until it thickly coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and whisky.
Pour the custard through the sieve into the bowl set in the ice, and ladle it into individual glasses or ramekins, leaving at least 2-3cm of space at the top of each budino. Put the budini on a baking sheet and chill for several hours – they can be prepared to this point up to three days in advance. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, cover each budino and return to the fridge until you are ready to serve.
For the caramel sauce, pour the cream into a medium pan. Using a small sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the pulp and seeds, and add the scrapings and the bean to the cream. Warm over a medium heat until steaming, then turn off the heat and add the butter, stirring until it melts.
Cook the sugar, golden syrup and 60ml of water in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, without stirring, swirling the pan for even cooking and brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush to remove the sugar crystals, until the sugar turns a medium amber colour. Remove the caramel from the heat. Add the cream mixture to the caramel, whisking constantly to thoroughly combine, taking care as the mixture will steam and bubble.
Pour the double cream into a chilled bowl and whip it with a chilled whisk until just beginning to thicken. Add the crème fraîche and gently beat until thick and holding its shape.
If the caramel sauce has cooled, warm it over medium heat until it returns to a sauce-like consistency and is just warm but not hot. Remove the budini from the refrigerator and spoon 1 tbsp of the sauce on each. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt flakes and top with a big dollop of the whipped cream.