Have you ever eaten something so good, it blew your mind?
Gjelina in Venice, California is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. The food, yes of course, but also the uber hip street it lives on, Abbot Kinney too. A morning starting or a day ending at this restaurant is one to remember. When they released their cookbook a few short months ago I earmarked some recipes. Little did I know the first one (and their signature dish) that I tried made every other dessert I’ve ever made [cue the hyperbole] seem blasé. To put it simply, myself and everyone who had a bite of it went bananas. Suggested wine pairing: Rose champagne.
- Butterscotch Custard
- 9 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp water (filtered)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Store bought Dulce de Leche will also work in a pinch
- Whipped Créme Fraîche
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Arrange eight ramekins or custard pots with a 3/4 cup capacity in a large, shallow baking pan. Set fine-mesh sieve over a large liquid measuring cup aside. Place egg yolks in a bowl.
- Cook the butterscotch first. In a saucepan over medium heat cook the brown sugar and butter without stirring - until the sugar turns a deep amber color and develops a nutty smell (about 10 minutes if your stove runs hot like mine.) Pour the heavy cream in bit by bit and whisk constantly. Remove from heat, add the salt and the seeds from the vanilla bean.
- Add the hot butterscotch to the egg yolks and again, which constantly. Strain the mixture into the large liquid measuring cup you've got handy. And this is probably a good time to do your first taste test. But don't eat all of the butterscotch - it will be highly tempting!!
- Divide the mixture among the ramekins and pour hot water into the baking pan until it reaches halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the custard is set. When the custard is done, immediately move to a cooking rack. They ramekins will be very hot, so watch your fingers. When cooled these last about a week...if they'll last that long.
- The original Gjelina recipe calls for homemade salted caramel sauce and whipped creme fraiche. Both are delicious, but the butterscotch was alot of work so I substituted and the recipe turned out just as amazing as the ones I've had at the restaurant. I used dulche de leche we brought home from Argentina and whipping cream that was beaten with an immersion blender.
- Topped off with a few sprinkles of Maldon salt, this dessert is absolute perfection.