A dairy free, gluten free, and refined sugar free decadent dessert
This is a great recipe to keep on hand. Not only does it come together with just a few ingredients, it can also be made days ahead of time and pulled out of the fridge when you have a sweet tooth, or if you want to spoil your friends with something delectable next time you invite them over for dinner.
A budino is a traditional Italian dessert that is a cross between a custard and a pudding, usually a marriage of milk, cream, sugar, and eggs with some kind of flavoring added (such as vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, ect.). This recipe is a bit special in that we have switched out some of the usual ingredients to offer a dairy free and cane sugar free version that is not lacking in richness or flavor. In fact, we should warn you that this could become your next addiction- it really is that good!
The base of this recipe is a pudding that has the intriguing taste of caramelized, burned sugar, which is then balanced with coconut cream, salt, and vanilla. While this base is great on its own (you can serve it to kiddos and they will love this healthier option, as opposed to pre-made pudding cups!), here we added a honey caramel that is so much brighter than the pudding flavor. When served together with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, the notes of the two different caramels will hit your palette in waves, not too rich, not too sweet, but oh so addicting.
One note, while making this recipe you will be heating ingredients to high temperatures on the stove. Please be careful of bubbling and steam while making this recipe. For best results, we highly recommend reading through the entire recipe instructions before starting to make the budino.
Coconut Caramel Budino
Cook Time: 45 minutes Makes: 8 large servings or 12 small servings
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) coconut sugar
- 6 tablespoons (90 grams) water
- 1 heaping teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk (the ones used in this recipe are 13.66 oz. cans)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons (32 grams) corn starch
- 4 tablespoons (55 grams) coconut oil or ghee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large pot (you will want plenty of extra room to allow for boiling and bubbling) combine the coconut sugar, salt, and water. Stir once just to combine, then place over medium-high heat. Allow this to come to a boil, without stirring. This may take around 10 minutes, and your mixture should become thicker, with large bubbles rising to the surface and popping. The mixture will also darken to a brown/black color and begin to smell nutty and smokey as the sugars caramelize and burn. It may seem a bit scary at first, but that burned smell means you are doing it right!
- When the caramel reaches that dark, smoking point, turn the heat down to medium and carefully add in the cans of coconut milk and the almond milk. This may sputter some and steam as you add it in, and the caramel will initially seize into chunks. Heat this mixture and bring up to a boil while stirring regularly with a heat proof spoon or spatula, and the chunks will melt into a smooth caramel texture.
- While the coconut milk/caramel mixture heats, combine the egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a medium heat proof bowl. Whisk this to combine and get ride of any lumps of cornstarch. Set the bowl on a damp kitchen towel (we will be tempering the egg mixture with the hot coconut milk/caramel so this prevents the bowl from moving too much while you whisk).
- When the coconut milk caramel in the pot has just started to boil, remove from heat and place near the bowl with the egg mixture. Temper the egg mixture by slowly ladeling small amounts of the coconut milk caramel into the egg mixture while whisking constantly and quickly.
- Once about half the coconut caramel mixture has been added into the egg mixture, begin whisking the remaining caramel in the pot as you slowly pour in the egg mixture. Whisk constantly as you pour to prevent clumps and curdles.Put the pot back on the heat, medium low, and whisk constantly as the mixture begins to cook and thicken (remember to scrape the bottom of the pot with the whisk, and stir into the corners of the pot so that none of the pudding mixture scorches). This will happen quickly, in about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the coconut oil (or ghee) and vanilla extract. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a heat proof bowl.
- If you would like to store the budino mixture and serve later, simply place plastic wrap over the bowl, pressing down so the plastic wrap touches the surface of the budino. This prevents a skin from forming on top. This budino pudding mixture can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively, if planning to serve the same day, pour the budino mixture into the desired number of clear glass dishes and cover with plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours prior to serving.
Honey Caramel Sauce
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (the one used in this recipe is a 13.66 oz. can)
- 3/4 cup (255 grams) honey
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine coconut milk, honey, and coconut oil (or ghee) in a large saucepan. You will want plenty of room for this to boil (more room than you think! You have been warned!). Place over high heat until the mixture comes to a rolling boil, then turn the heat down to medium high. Let this boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes or more, until the mixture thickens, stiring it every 4-5 minutes. You can boil for longer if you like a thicker texture, but we kept ours a little thinner to top the budinos. The mixture will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla and sea salt once the mixture has cooled slightly.
- Pour into a glass jar or another heat proof container to store. This keeps well in the fridge for up to two weeks. Let this cool at least to room temperature before assembling the budinos.
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can full fat coconut cream (using coconut cream instead of coconut milk will allow for a much fluffier, thicker whipped cream)
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (adjust depending on how sweet you want the coconut whipped cream to be)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and whip with a whisk or a hand mixer until the coconut cream is all one texture and really fluffy.
- As a note, double this recipe if you want lots of whipped cream to top your budinos!
To assemble the budinos:
- Spoon the pudding mixture into desired number of clear glass dishes (if you have not done this step already).
- Spoon desired amount of honey caramel overtop of the pudding mixture.
- Dollop spoonfuls of coconut whipped cream on the top of each budino.
Top with toasted coconut or a light sprinkle of sea salt if desired, serve and enjoy!
Recipe and article by Kaitlyn Todd- founder of Sweet & Tarte