Awhile back, my sisters and I dined at the Lark Creek Steak  Restaurant. It happened to be Allison’s birthday, so our over enthusiastic waiter brought us each a butterscotch pudding for dessert. We all enjoyed it, and I decided to attempt a version for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite things about eating out is trying something at a restaurant, then endeavoring to make it at home. The two rules I try to follow when attempting this are to A) Never wait more than a month to try the recreation or you will forget the flavor and B) It’s much easier if you had others taste what your choice to discuss and tweak your efforts!
My Internet research on Butterscotch Pudding led me to a recipe by David Lebovitz , whom I saw speak this fall. His  recipe calls for cassonade sugar. It seems that cassonade is a french version of very slightly refined raw sugar, while Rapadura is the evaporated, pressed juice from sugar cane. I’ve trolled hundreds of sites in both french and english trying to figure out the difference between the two, and that was about as much info as I could come up with on the two. SMIL brought me a brick of Rapadura from Brazil this fall, and I tried out this recipe using it. Thanks, SMIL! I love trying out new ingredients!
The Rapadura originally comes in a brick, which you’re then supposed to heat in a 200 degree oven where it melts, then you can break it up into small pieces and run it through a cuisinart to granulate it. Here’s a pic of mine melted.
Mine didn’t turn into crystals in the Cuisinart, instead it turned into a big sticky mess so I just kept it in broken toffee like chunks. I just popped a bit back into the cuisinart tonight to find it’s less sticky now, though I still think the chunk application will work better for me. Here’s a pic after processing.
The flavor was perfect for the recipe. If you don’t have either of these sugars on hand, try a panela, jaggery, or a demerara sugar from a specialty foods store, or just regular old dark brown sugar.
Butterscotch Pudding (adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe )
serves 8 small or 5 large servings
4 tbsp butter
1 and 3/4 c. stacked, broken pieces of Rapadura, (mine are large leaving lots of empty space in measuring cup, if you’re using crystals or dark brown sugar, only use 1 c.)
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 and 1/2 c. 2% milk
2 tsp Jack Daniels
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a sauce pan, melt butter on low heat, add rapadura and stir occasionally with a wooden spatula, heating until sugar melts and is a bubbling mixture. Remove from heat.
Mix cornstarch and 1/4 c. milk with a whisk until smooth. Add eggs and continue to whisk.
Add remaining milk 1/4 c. at a time to melted rapadura, whisking continuously, integrating without hardening the sugar mixture by adding too much cold liquid at once. Follow with the cornstarch mixture.
Return pan to medium high heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook another minute, whisking continuously. Remove from heat when thickened to a ketchup consistency. Quickly whisk in Jack Daniels and vanilla, then pour into ramekins.
Refrigerate for at least four hours, then top with whipped cream and chocolate chips.
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