My favorite restaurant that we ate at in San Francisco was Claudine. It is tucked away in the French Quarter, right behind the famous Cafe Claude. It's a tiny restaurant with a charming, green, outdoor seating area-- an alluring oasis away from the busy streets of San Francisco. The cuisine is a fusino between Californian (think avocados and citrus) and traditoinal French cuisine. Claudine refers to it as "an intersection where slow food concepts meet global inspiration."
The best part of our meal was dessert (of course!). My dad ordered the salted butterscotch pot de creme. A light sprinkling of sea salt really adds a whole new dimension to the familiar flavor of caramel. It turns this from a butterscotch pudding into an elegant pot de creme au caramel -- oozing with extraordinary butterscotch flavor.
This no-bake recipe is the easiest one out there, no egg yolks, no heavy cream -- just really good caramel and milk whisked together to pudding-perfection! The hardest part is waiting for it to set in the fridge.
These desserts can be kept chilled in the fridge for a few days -- making them perfect for a simple yet sophisticated make-ahead dessert. I made mine in my new mini Weck jars that I couldn't wait to use. If you don’t have clear small pots, you can always use ramekins.
Adapted from Ripe For Dessert
- 4 tablespoons (60g) butter, salted or unsalted
- 1 cup (180g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2½ (625ml) cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sea salt and whipped cream for garnish
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup (60ml) of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.
Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.
Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh sea salt before serving.