Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Very Vegan Gluten-Free Christmas: Butterscotch Budino

Now that our bellies were properly stuffed with holiday cheer (and by that I mean Okra Gumbo and Heart of Palm "Crab" Cakes), it was time to move on to the true meaning of Christmas- Desserts! In proper old soulness, butterscotch has always been a favorite pudding (and hard candy) flavor for my sister and me. The chance to combine that with chunks of salt and cookies proved to be too much to resist (how happy must doctors be that we now like putting large chunks of salt with our already terrible desserts?). It was time to get cooking with some Christmas spirits (see what I did there!??!).

Butterscotch Budino
Adapted from Olives for Dinner
Servings: 6-8
Time: 20 minutes (plus cooling)

1/2 cup Earth Balance
3 tsp Ener-G
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups unsweetened soymilk, divided
1 cup soy creamer (So Delicious Coconut Creamer recommended)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp whiskey (Jameson's claims to be gluten-free)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Coarse Sea Salt, for serving
Gluten-free cookies

  1. Melt the Earth Balance over low heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Mix 1 cup of the soymilk with the cornstarch and Ener-G in a separate bowl. Whisk well until all lumps are removed.
  3. Add the milk mixture to the melted butter and whisk until well incorporated. Increase to medium-low heat.
  4. In a separate bowl (or your same just used one), combine the remaining 1/2 cup soymilk, creamer and sugars until smooth. 
  5. Add this to the saucepan, whisking frequently. Let the mixture come to a light boil then remove it from heat.
  6. Stir in the whiskey and vanilla extract. Cover and cool in the fridge until ready to serve (I recommend at least 2 hours).
  7. Debate what to do with the remaining bottle of whiskey while you wait for the for the budino to cool and set. It's a long 2 hours.
  8. Serve with a cookie and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt distributed nicely throughout.

The budino was incredibly rich and creamy. Whiskey and vanilla are always a winning combination for desserty goodness, which was only bolstered further by the always enjoyable surprise bursts from the salt crystals. Our store bought gluten-free cookie added some welcome and necessary texture to the dessert, but they definitely lagged behind in the flavor department (fortunately, we had previously made much more successful chocolate chip and brownie cookies). Our pudding course turned out to be incredibly successful (aside from some minor lumps that really only affected aesthetics) and the ultimate way to push ourselves that final inch into a proper holiday food coma. Like a good Christmas miracle, my mom even found a creative use for it the next morning at breakfast.

Our Christmas breakfast of waffles with apple compote, tofu scramble and rosemary roasted potatoes, or, as my mother saw it, the perfect vessel for the leftover budino (don't worry, she just put it on the waffles, but I fear what she'd have done had we not been there to judge).
Coming up, the final and most important entry in a Very Vegan Gluten-Free Christmas- our annual Cucidatis! Can they hold up in this harsh new gluten-free world?

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