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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Creamy Butterscotch Pudding from Vanilla Table

Do you remember Butterscotch Angel Delight?  Well this is nothing like that, it is rich, creamy and sweetly caramel flavoured, a really indulgent treat.  It comes from a beautiful book called Vanilla Table: The essence of exquisite cooking from the world's best chefs.

Vanilla Table is curated by Natasha MacAller who has a passion for Vanilla and hopes to inspire home cooks, students and chefs to try this exotic but familiar ingredient in a wide range of dishes.  It includes recipes from Natasha and 33 other chefs from around the world including David Lebovitz, Anton Mosimann, Yotam Ottolenghi and Peggy Porchen.

About the Author: NATASHA MACALLER is known worldwide as the “Dancing Chef”. A former professional ballerina, after thirty years of performing with companies such as New York’s Joffrey Ballet, the Boston Ballet and on the stages of Broadway, she decided to move on to what she considered another performing art: cookery. She used her seasonal layoffs from ballet to become a professional cook and eventually set up her own catering business, Dancing Chef Catering, which served TV, theatre, film and food industry folks. In 1996, after graduating number one in her class from The Colorado Culinary Institute, Natasha went from strength to strength, and she now holds her own culinary classes and has become an international chef consultant.

About the Photographer: MANJA WACHSMUTH is a Danish photographer who, while currently residing in New Zealand, comes out of the Scandinavian photographic tradition. Specialising in food photography, she has her own boutique photographic studio and works with some of New Zealand’s favourite magazines and chefs, as well as with clients in Denmark, UK and Australia.

Here are some of the recipes that caught my eye:

Starters: Shaved Fennel and KeriKeri Orange Salad, Caramelised Orange Salad, Pate au Poulet with Tipsy Cherries and Heirloom Tomato Bisque.

Main Plates: Slow Roasted Oxtail Pot Pies, Vanilla Lacquer Duck Leg, Seared Scallops with Vanilla Parsnip Puree, Chicken Stroganoff with Chanterelles and Vanilla.

Blue Plates* and Brunch Plates: Coronation Chicken on Squashy Poppyseed Buns, Crunchy Cornflake Fried Chicken and Apricot, Almond and Vanilla Clafoutis.

*Blue plates are a US invention, literally a plate made up of three compartments - one each for main, side and dessert. 

Sharing Plates:  Island Crab cakes with vanilla-grapefruit remoulade,  The Tonga Trifle, Devilish Eggs with vanilla candied bacon and Saturn Peach, Onion and Blue Cheese Pie.

Dessert Plates: Vanilla Spiced Pineapple Roast, Quince Tarte Tatin, Raspberry Meringue Martinis, Creamy Butterscotch Pudding with Tash's English Toffee and The Anna Pavlova.

Cake Plates: Pure Vanilla Layer Cake, Caramelised Pineapple Carrot Cake, Two-Tone Chocolate Malt Cake and Bittersweet Chocolate Torte.

The Cookie Plate: Chocolate Sticky Bits, Espresso Brownie Bites, Gold Ingots, Cranberry Tweed Cardigans and Black Pepper Chai Truffles.

Bevvies and Bar Snacks: Toasty Coconut Chips and Nuts, Vanilla Passion Martini, Pink Ginger Zinger, Carrot Vanilla Gougeres.

Vanilla Pantry: Vanilla Sugar, Vanilla Salt Flakes, Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Aioli, Raspberry Vanilla Vinegar and Scooter Pastry Cases/Pie Shells.

Vanilla Plate concludes with Notes, Weights and Measures, All Sorts of Sources and biographies of the Contributing Chefs.

Who is this for?
This is not a beginners book, it is a book for confident cooks who would like to produce restaurant style dishes.

Pros:  Each recipe is well laid out with a paragraph about the story behind the recipe, a table showing the ingredients and clear instructions.  The photographs by Manja Wachsmuth are outstanding and help you understand how the dish should look as well as tempting your taste buds.

Cons:  Some of the recipes are quite complex or include ingredients that are difficult to source although the majority seem fairly straightforward.

I chose to make the Creamy Butterscotch Pudding which is essentially a caramel custard made with dark brown sugar, cream  and butter.  I am not entirely sure why the egg yolks were added when the pudding also contains cornflour to thicken it, they seemed a little surplus to requirements to me.  Whether you add the eggs or not, it is a gorgeous dessert and would be perfect for a dinner party or other event as you can make it beforehand and keep it in the fridge until required.  The taste is well worth the many pots and bowls that it requires to make it.

Creamy Butterscotch Pudding
6 servings

475 ml whipping cream
225 g unsalted butter, softened
45 g cornflour/cornstarch
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
480 ml milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
15 ml pure vanilla extract
1 tsp rum (optional)
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. In a small saucepan, heat 300 ml cream until warm (or microwave in a small jug until warmed). Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium stainless steel saucepan over low heat.  Simmer 2 minutes, stirring with a spatula until bubbly. Add warmed cream and stir until smooth.
3. Combine cornflour and salt in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in 1/4 of the cold milk until cornflour dissolves.  Add this mixture to the pan with remaining milk.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Stir about 2 minutes until you see steam rise from the surface and the pudding thickens.  Slowly stream in egg yolks, whisking constantly.

4. Switch to spatula and continue to gently stir until bubbles form on top of pudding.
5. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 tsp vanilla, rum (if using) and the vinegar.  Quickly strain into a jug , to make pouring easier, and then immediately pour into 6 individual serving dishes or glasses.
6. Tightly cover each one with a piece of cling-film to keep a skin from forming.  Chill 3 hours or until softly set.  Can be made a day in advance.

To serve whip remaining cream with 1/2 tsp vanilla until soft peaks form.  Place a dollop of the whipped cream on top of each pudding.  Garnish with a toffee shard.

As you can see I didn't serve mine with whipped cream but topped with thin slices of banana and finely grated chocolate.  Banana and butterscotch is a great combination and gave a different texture.

Vanilla Table by Natasha MacAller
Published by Jacqui Small in March 2015
RRP £25

I have one copy of Vanilla Table to giveaway, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter to enter (UK/EU only) GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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At 7 March 2015 at 09:29 , Blogger Keep Calm and Fanny On said...

I love Vanilla just simply in a homemade custard... Although I've been adding it to some savoury stews and things recently as I have a Vanilla Grinder! This book looks lovely, not convinced by the Blue Plates though! Your dessert looks smashing, thanks!

At 7 March 2015 at 09:45 , Blogger Unknown said...

Oh I used to love Butterscotch Angel Delight!! Although I must say this looks so beautiful and so sophisticated. A brilliant book review Janice.

At 7 March 2015 at 22:31 , Blogger Janice said...

Goodness, I've never heard of a Vanilla Grinder, must look that up, mmm Blue Plates didn't convince me much either!

At 7 March 2015 at 22:33 , Blogger Janice said...

It was my favourite too Dom, goodness only knows what horrors were in that packet. At least this pudding is full of natural flavours, an occasional indulgence rather than an everyday though with all that sugar, butter and cream!

At 8 March 2015 at 08:26 , Blogger Unknown said...

I love butterscotch so this would make a great breakfast treat.

At 8 March 2015 at 08:58 , Anonymous Heidi Roberts said...

I love vanilla and vanilla bean paste!

At 8 March 2015 at 11:18 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I likec to use vanilla essence in muffins, cakes and custard x

At 8 March 2015 at 15:44 , Blogger Unknown said...

It's a beautiful book isn't it? I've bookmarked the butterscotch puddings and need to make them really soon!

At 8 March 2015 at 15:47 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

I LOVE butterscotch and also angel delight! This looks WAAAY better however! My favourite way to use vanilla is in cakes or scones!

At 8 March 2015 at 15:49 , Blogger Helen - family-friends-food said...

Those look delicious! Beats banana and custard any day :-)

At 8 March 2015 at 16:01 , Blogger Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I adored Angel Delight as a child- I haven't had it for years but this sounds an indulgent grown up version (with no doubt lots fewer 'nasties'!). It sounds a lovely book Janice and what a comprehensive review, what are you hoping to bake next from it?

At 8 March 2015 at 16:39 , Blogger GG said...

What a great sounding book, I love using vanilla but it isn't easy to use in savoury dishes. It would be great to have some savoury recipes. GG

At 8 March 2015 at 16:44 , Blogger Heidi Roberts said...

I love vanilla and vanilla bean paste - would love to have a copy of the book!!

At 8 March 2015 at 19:01 , Anonymous Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy said...

Yum! This looks so delicious and indulgent. Definitely one for treat day :)

At 9 March 2015 at 12:04 , Blogger Unknown said...

Oooo, I love the idea of this! I have a bit of a nostalgic soft spot for Angel Delight but I just can't bring myself to eat it these days, I prefer real food like this recipe ;)

At 9 March 2015 at 15:44 , Anonymous Sisley White said...

I love this pudding! I am going to have to make this :)

At 9 March 2015 at 20:17 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooo I wanted to be a ballet dancer and I adore vanilla so much, I really need to win this book!

At 10 March 2015 at 21:18 , Blogger Cakeyboi said...

I remember butterscotch Angel Delight Janice. I bet this tastes even better...

At 12 March 2015 at 21:24 , Blogger Rusty *Sarah* Gootkin-Holmgren said...

My favorite way to use vanilla is in custard.

At 22 March 2015 at 13:25 , Blogger Caroline Cowe said...

In an otherwise plain flavoured cake

At 9 April 2015 at 22:58 , Blogger Natalie Crossan said...

Vanilla in custard is lush x

At 9 April 2015 at 23:22 , Blogger Kiran Parry said...

I like having vanilla in raspberry and blueberry muffins.


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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