Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sous vide budino, the smoothest pudding you will ever eat

Whew, that was a long month and a half. See we recently moved, and even though it was just across town, moving three kids and seven years of stuff while juggling the rest of life gets crazy. Just for fun we decided to throw a dinner party after I had declared my baking hiatus for the move. I had to get creative of what to create for dessert that would be phenomenal but feasible with the remaining kitchen supplies I had not yet packed up.

I had always wanted to make the chocolate budino tartlets from A16 Food and Wine, but the tart pan was packed. Hmmmm... but then I suddenly remembered a super smooth creme brulee I had tried at this years Eat Real Festival. After tasting it, both Jason and I theorized that it was cooked sous vide. Well, the sous vide set up was the last thing we packed, and we had little jars left...voila...dessert is served.

What is sous vide? It is basically cooking in a vacuum (or really just a sealed system) inside a water bath. The set up holds the water at a constant temperature so you can cook thinks precisely and slowly. We have two set ups, neither of which are the systems you can now purchase at national chain cooking stores. The first set up is simply a device that we hook up to the crockpot, it measures the temp and turns it on or off as needed. The second is an immersion circulator that was bought used from a science lab. We set it up in our trusty cooler and it allows for tighter temperature control. And if you wonder why the sous vide machine was one of the last to be packed, it is because we see it as one of our indispensable kitchen appliances. Almost all meat is cooked sous vide and it makes for effortless preparation for sandwich meat. High end restaurants and mass food producers can't be wrong...go and get yourself a sous vide set up and make the smoothest pudding you have ever tasted.

To gild the lily we topped it with toasted pecans in a butterscotch sauce, French grey salt and olive oil powder (made with Frog Hollow Farm fruity olive oil and tapioca maltodextrin). Incredible...

Chocolate budino cooked sous vide

Adapted from A16 Food and Wine, Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 t vanilla extract.

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave. Start at 1 minute, then cook in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each, until just melted. 
  2. Beat egg yolks and sugar together in a medium heat proof bowl, and set aside. 
  3. Heat milk to a simmer, then pour slowly into egg yolks while whisking.Add in chocolate and whisk until smooth. 
  4. Whisk in the cream and vanilla.
  5. Pour into small jars, and screw on lids. Place in sous vide such that the jars are 3/4 covered with water. 
  6. Cook at 155 for 2 hours or until set. 

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