Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Recipe: Holiday Top Chef Tiffany's Salted Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

Question before the committee, can one make Tiffany's Salted Butterscotch Pudding as seen in the edits on TV. If you look at the recipe above, click on this posts title, and count up the hours, an eyebrow or two may raise in inquiry as to whether it is possible to actually make said recipe in the allotted time. (OK, I have to stop channelling Steven and Marcel at the same time. ;) (Actually, I believe they had 3 hours of cooking time and a half hour between each course. However, that hasn't stopped me from seeing if this could be done in one hour.)

Seriously, you can make the Tiffany's Top Chef Recipe very quickly if you take some short cuts. Strike that, not short cuts but if you understand the ins and outs of cooking. First of all, let me say that when I make desserts or my chocolates, I take my chef hat off and put on my pastry chef and chocolatier hat, both figuratively and literally. When doing pastry you have to slow down, change your attitude about almost all aspects of cooking, and basically, Ooooooommmmmmmm! To do this recipe, I stayed as Chef Mark and didn't make that transformation to Pastry Chef Mark. So, Valerie and Ann , there IS a Butterscotch pudding!

I was able to cool down the mixture in a scant 15 mins to 75-80 degrees using a salted ice bath with plenty of cold water. I used that same ice bath over and over adding ice to it. Remember, in a water bath, you want to have the water line up to the line of the liquid in the pot. I didn't change pots or do any of the nice things I normally do. I didn't even change into my whites. I just banged this out. The waiting time I could have used to cook other things but in this time, I'm writing my blog. Not even a half hour has elapsed. And the temperature of the mixture is down to 72 degrees.

Now, I made sure that the water in the water baths was hot before I put it in the oven. I even heated it up on the stove. I even had a Top Chef moment. I was moving so fast that I must have either filled the boats up too much or the hotel pans too much, and some of the water from the water bath go into the custard. So, I threw those out, refilled two of them, still having 9 boats filled with pudding. So, I made 12 all told though I did wind up throwing out three because of the water bath. (Another got water in it, as I was putting it in the oven, I think I burned my hand again, so what's new?, and I just left it, hoping that the water would bake out fast enough. I whisked it in.)

Remember I am preparing this for my guests so it still have to be good. So, within 35 mins, I had it in my preheated oven in a water bath. I couldn't get the bread in there as well, urfh, and Kim came in while I was putting it in the oven to tell me that Megan, our dishwasher, was sick and that she'd be doing the dishes. Thanks sweety. I love you.)

I set my alarm for 22 mins to see how much time it will take to bake it. I should be able to do the sauce in 10 mins. that'll mean about 1 hour for this recipe. As it turns out, it took for some about 30 mins. The ones in the hotter part of the oven were done in 20 mins and the ones in the cooler part in about 25 mins. If I had a deck oven, this would have went better. Plus, you really have to watch the water levels. Don't fill them up too much.

OK. so, then I made the sauce. It looked very thin for a caramel sauce and it doesn't have any milk in it so it's not going to get any browning from the Maillard reaction and it really isn't a caramel but we'll see. I just made it and it only took about 15 mins. I heated the apple cider four mins in the micro to keep it from seizing the sugar. I didn't whisk. I used a wooden spoon. (Ah hem, I didn't use apple cider. I didn't have any. We produce some very good ciders around here but you know what, all I had was, %-}, apple juice. Still all in all, not bad.)

So, all told, 55 mins for the custard, which I could do and also do other things in the background. So, basically, if I were Tiffany, I would have started the custard and finished it by the end of the first round as I was serving. Then right before the third round, I would have just banged out the sauce and voila, done. If she had an hour between courses, which I think they did not, she could have done the whole thing in one hour because while waiting for the custard to cook, she could have banged out the sauce. Or she could have started in during round 2. Same diff. The custard would have finished by the middle to end of round three while she banged out the sauce.

--- Later after eating it ---

Boy, that is sweet. It's not only sweet but it is very butterscotchy. I like it but I think I'd tone down on the sugar. Maybe half it. 3/4 cup brown sugar to maybe 1 cup. Those judges must have a sweet tooth. Ouch. Most of the diners like it, some thought it too sweet. Oh, well. And it does seem more of a pudding than a custard though it's made like a custard. Most of the dinners just loved the caramel sauce. When I made it, I just left the cinnamon stick in it and never took it out.

I also had to reboil the caramel until that it got thicker. I wound up taking it to 230 F.

I'll put my version of the recipe below. I followed her recipe and weighed almost every ingredient so that you'll have a more baker like recipe to follow. I also added temperatures to the recipe. I also added some tricks so that you wont have too many issues. Enjoy.

Butterscotch Pudding:


100 g butter
225g brown sugar
1 vanilla bean (I used 1/2 of a Tahitian and it was very vanilla.)
480g whipping cream
280g milk (I used 2% with about 20g of cream in it.)
1t Fleur de sel
10 large egg yolks, beaten
blueberries as needed for a garnish

Caramel Sauce:
260g sugar
60g water
9g light corn syrup
1 cinnamon stick (I used True Cinnamon, Indonesian)
1 1/4 cups apple cider


Melt butter with brown sugar and cook until sugar is complete dissolved. Cook until boil In a separate pot, scrape vanilla from the bean and steep in cream with the whole pod. Heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and let cool to around 100F before using. Add cool cream to sugar mixture, slowly. Add in milk and salt and just barely bring to a boil. Temper mixture (at 144F) into eggs and then do a thin drizzle into the mixture while stirring briskly. Put in well salted ice bath for 15 mins or until the mixture has reached 75 F. Place pudding in containers and bake in a shallow water bath for about 20 mins in a 350F preheated oven or until firm but jiggly.

Caramel Sauce:

Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and cinnamon until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 300F. Heat cider in the microwave for 4 mins or until mixture is between 110F and 120F. Add cider to sugar mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon and return to heat. Heat until mixture is 230F. Let cool and thicken. Serve over pudding warm.

Enjoy. This whole dish takes about 1 hour and 5 maybe 10 mins.

Hey, it isn't chocolate but it's yummer. Pictures coming.

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Blogger Tracy said...

Hooray to you for testing this recipe! And thanks for telling me about it on my blog!

Your experience with the water bath getting into the custard is exactly why I hate using them. But I still might have to try this because I think my husband would love it. Can't wait to see the photos.

December 14, 2007 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

Yeah, I was hotdogging it. If I hadn't filled the waterbath up so high and hadn't tried to beat the clock and blah blah blah Anthony Bordain, blah, then there wouldn't have been a problem, 'natch.

I'd use my recipe. I've made it easier to use and more baker friendly.

I've also posted about 4 posts on the original recipe blog over at Bravo.

December 14, 2007 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

BTW, if water does get in from the bath, and the water is clean, I should hope so, then just whisk it in and when it cools, you're OK. It'll be just great. You can try lifting the water out if it's a lot of water. The reason I threw them out was to simulate what a TC contestant would probably do.

December 14, 2007 at 12:52 PM  
Anonymous babs said...

Thank you for testing this and giving the temperatures and such. I found reading the recipe as Bravo posted it a bit vague. Looking forward to making it!

December 16, 2007 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

You are most welcome, Babs. The weights work much better and please, after you try my modified recipe, whether or not you thicken the caramel sauce, please tell me how it went. I'll be looking forward to your future posts.

I liked the dish but as I said, if you don't have a sweet tooth, cut that sugar in half. (I guess Tiffany IS a sweet lady after all. Yikes, I almost said girl. She would'a hunted me down and killed me. ;-)

December 16, 2007 at 7:44 PM  

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