Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TWD: Figgy Real Butterscotch Pudding, or "Actually, I WILL go before I get some."


This week's Tuesdays With Dorie selection is Real Butterscotch Pudding, chosen by Donna of Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases. I'll say this much, if you are invited somewhere for dinner and offer to bring the dessert, you can feel pretty confident that your hosts are not expecting butterscotch pudding. So this definitely has that "surprise element" going for it. Also, since there is no way that I'll be able to bluff my way through this entire post, let me just go ahead and say at the outset that until I read the recipe, I had no idea that butterscotch is made out of butter and scotch. I guess I just always thought that butterscotch was its own . . . thing. You know, the way that coconut is just coconut -- it's not made out of coco(a) and nuts? Right? Who's with me?

Well, once I learned that butterscotch = butter + scotch, I assumed that meant yet another trip to the package store for me, since neither of us drink scotch and therefore I figured we didn't have any. But when I dug into the depths of our sunscreen/bugspray/liquor cabinet (we are a professional organizer's worst nightmare)

I realized that we had not one, not two, but three bottles of scotch from which to choose:

.

My husband received all of these bottles as holiday gifts from business associates over the years. Apparently, he has that "scotch drinker" look about him.

In order to figure out which scotch to use, I decided to do a little research on the characteristics that are distinctive to fine single malt scotches. There are hundreds of pages devoted to this topic, and I don't know if I'm just grumpy or lacking intellectual curiosity or burned out from the holiday frenzy or what, but about two minutes into my research I realized that I just really don't care about fine single malt scotches. at. all. I decided to do eeny meeny miney moe instead, and the winner was {drumroll please} . . . .



Making the pudding was remarkably quick and easy. I started it at 11 p.m. after a long night of present wrapping, and it was in the fridge by 11:30. It starts out with my most feared kitchen task, boiling sugar:



Standing there and not walking away from it while it was boiling made ALL the difference in avoiding an unfettered disaster. Who knew?

After mixing some stuff up in the food processor (I can't remember what, but be sure to check Donna's blog for the recipe!), you slowly pour in the hot liquid to the running food processor. I was positive that this was going to explode on me, but it didn't. It really is true that we are not given more than we can handle. After a quick processing, return it to the pan to thicken it up.

My only previous foray into pudding thickening was with the arborio rice pudding, and that was a rough road. My first attempt with that resulted in rice soup, and my second attempt turned out somewhat better, but new babies got their learner's permits in the time that it took to thicken. But this butterscotch pudding thickened up beautifully:

It smelled SO good while it was cooking. It really smelled like it would be perfect just as it was, but there was still butter, vanilla and scotch to be added.

I am not really a "hard liquor" kind of gal. I can generally only deal with it if the liquor flavor is heavily masked by mixers. Back in my pre-kid days, when we'd go to the Blue Monkey with friends after work, I'd order something like a Sweet Tartini and immediately cease to be taken seriously by everyone at the table. So I feared that I would not enjoy this pudding because of the scotch. But I remained optimistic, thinking that the combination of butter + vanilla + scotch + sugar + general Dorie magic would result in a whole new flavor, "butterscotch," which I knew that I liked, having had it many times before without ever detecting so much as a trace of "scotch."

Unfortunately, when I finally tried the pudding, I felt like I was spoon-feeding myself a Glenlivet, which is so wrong on so many levels. I am still kicking myself for not leaving the scotch out of at least half of the pudding, because I really think I would have enjoyed this much more without it. I also read in the P&Q (too late) that someone added the scotch during the cooking process, which helped burn some of it off -- that's another great idea. But for my taste, the scotch was just overpowering.



I really enjoyed making this anyway. It was fun to watch the ingredients morph into actual pudding. And I think that I would have honestly loved this without the scotch. Thanks for the fun pick, Donna! And Merry Christmas, everyone!

EDITED ON 12/23, 7:50 AM: I finally got a chance to ask David what he thought about this -- we've been like two ships passing in the night with all of the Christmas running around that's been going on. He said "I wouldn't want to eat it after every meal, but I liked it. Generally, I like to eat dessert and I like to drink booze, but I prefer to keep them separate. But there is something kind of festive about sneaking your hooch in your treats."

37 comments:

Danielle said...

Oh man I am sorry the scotch ruined your pudding for you. I am here to tell you the pudding tastes GREAT without the booze. I say its worth another make minus the scotch!

It looks great though :)

n.o.e said...

Oh, Cathy, that is too bad about the boozily unpleasant surprise. Your post comes at a perfect time for me (too!) because I am going to make this with both girls today or tomorrow. This will make me be very attentive to the P&Q and also maybe keep a portion of the recipe scotch-less. Although 3 of the 4 of us do like single malt (and I have, ahem, a few more bottles to choose from).

I'm very much with you on the butterscotch-as-flavor issue. No earthly idea it involved real alcohol.

Your blog is always so fun. And this statement sums up your eternally optimistic attitude towards your cooking adventures: "It really is true that we are not given more than we can handle." As for me, any time I'm asked into hot sugar land (or water bath territory) it's more than I'm capable of handling!

Oh, and your cabinet is great - I have visions of you packing up your beach bag: sunscreen, check; bug spray, check; single malt, check!

Nancy

Prudy said...

That's hilarious that you ended up with THREE bottle of scotch. I'm so glad you found out before you braved the market, but then..darn, you didn't like the pudding. You really have to try it again without the scotch. I made a 1/3 batch thinking it would be just enough for my husband. I don't think he got more than a spoonful. Merry Christmas! I'm so glad you're blogging. It is truly such a treat to read whatever in the world you are writing about. I love your intelligent style and your real life way of writing about it.

Jess said...

Oh, too bad it was too scotchy for you...maybe because you used the good stuff, while I used the middlebrow stuff? And by the way, I keep my liquor (we rarely drink hard stuff) with my cleaning supplies. I realize that is a disaster waiting to happen, but you see, I rarely clean either. Merry Christmas!

Di said...

Great post as always, Cathy! I love the picture of the sunscreen/bug spray/liquor cabinet. I'll join you in being a professional organizer's nightmare--I have some similarly odd collections in my house. I'm sorry that you didn't like this with the scotch. I actually used a blended scotch rather than a single malt, which might have kept it from overpowering the pudding.

Katrina said...

Way to give it a try. I don't drink any alcohol, which is another reason I didn't make the pudding this week, but you're a trooper. It sounds tempting to try it someday--minus the alcohol. Your pictures are great.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! (I'm having a giveaway on my blog, check it out!--I know a little late for the holidays, but hey, late presents are always fun, too!)

cruisingkitty said...

Sorry you didn't like the scotch in your pudding. Maybe the brand you used was too strong for the delicate pudding. Don't give up on the recipe just yet. Make it without the booze next time. I tried it both ways and both were fabulous!

Have a wonderful holiday!
Donna @ Spatulas & Corkscrews

Melissa said...

Great photos! Your liquor stash under the sink made me laugh!

Sara said...

I'm sorry about the scotch - the concept sounds good though, there are a couple restaurants in my area that serve butterscotch pudding, I don't think their recipes contain any alcohol.

Anne said...

I know what you mean about the butter-scotch thing! I've always loved butterscotch chips and pudding but I've certainly never made it and had no idea it required scotch! We don't drink so I wondered about leaving it out. Thanks for letting me know that would work out!

Thanks for the funny post as usual. I love your husband's comment, too. I hope you guys have a Merry Christmas (and that the kids sleep in past 6!)

Maria said...

I never really though about butterscotch before but I guess it makes sense that you need scotch to make it! Glad you tried this one!! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

leanne said...

Your husband's comment was hilarious. I too had no idea that it required scotch.

Mary Ann said...

I love your husbands comment about this dessert. I also love you lack of organization. Who would've known that you had all that scotch, hidden in your cupboards? You make me laugh.

Jules Someone said...

We thought it was pretty boozy as well. But that was a good thing at my house. ;-)

bakingwiththeboys said...

Hilarious! Although, from the appearance of those bottles, it looks someone is drinking scotch in your house.

Our limited supply is randomly on a high shelf (gotta watch those pre-schoolers) next to a vase and a chip and dip bowl. Merry Christmas!

pinkstripes said...

Yes, although there was very little alcohol in this dessert I felt I would get drunk from eating it. I liked the taste, but only in small doses.

SUGAR B said...

I love this entry! Mine didn't thicken at all, I think I missed a major step somewhere. But oh well. Happy Holidays my friend! :)

What's for Supper? said...

Oh that is too bad. I could definetly taste the scotch in ours too though I enjoyed it.

Steph said...

I'm glad you were able to make this even with all the holiday craziness that's going on now. I feel like there's so little time before christmas! I never knew butterscotch was just butter+ scotch either!

Jessica said...

I'm sorry that you didn't like it. I like the flavor of butterscotch but I'm not sure about "scotch + butter" (see, I'm still unwilling to admit that butterscotch isn't it's own thing. It can't be if your pudding tasted like scotch, right?)
I'm going to make this eventually and I'll keep your suggestions in mind when I do. Merry Christmas!

Madam Chow said...

I made this with almond milk and used Chivas Regal blended scotch. I have no idea what single malt is, and I didn't want to rummage about to see if we have it. We, too, are not drinkers. It is ironic that we have an enormous inherited booze collection, which I use in cooking! At any rate, my pudding did not taste too boozy, and I'm wondering if it's the type of scotch that I used. I think if you make this again and leave out the booze, you might want to increase the vanilla extract just a tad. I love that quote about "hooch" in one's dessert!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I think it would be better with the Scotch too. Love how you picked which bottle to use! :)

Megan said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't know that butter + scotch = butterscotch. I just made mine tonight and thought it was really good. Boozy, yes, but we like it that way.

Happy Holidays!

natalia said...

Ciao Cathy ! You are always so good with your posts ! I end up laughing all the time ! You are right I thought the same about cooking the alcohol !

Flourchild said...

Wow it sounds like this pudding was pretty strong! I love your last picture and Im glad you got to make it! Have a wonderful Christmas. I look fwd to baking in 2009 with the TWD group.

Natashya said...

You are so funny!
Glad you gave it a shot, sorry if it wasn't to your taste.
Have a wonderful Christmas.

Amanda said...

Here's wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Happy Hoochmas! Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!

Liz said...

This entry was great! I skipped making the pudding so I enjoy reading about your experience. Maybe you can try it again without any scotch?

Merry Christmas!

Jacque said...

Live and learn, I guess, LOL.

I'm laughing at your booze/sunscreen cabinet. Actually, when you think about it, those two go very well together :)

peter said...

I kept thinking of you on Christmas and hoping your cheesecake turned out! Can't wait to see on Tuesday.

We made the pudding for our Christmas dinner and put the scotch in with the milk, so we didn't end up with the raw alcohol taste - in fact it was quite subtle. And we used one of the scotches that you have - the Glenfiddich special 12yo. It was great having everyone else's experiences to learn from

Hope your family's Christmas was fabulous!
Nancy

Pam said...

I had no idea scotch was in butterscotch. Sorry the pudding didn't taste good to you. The picture made it look mout watering good!

Heather said...

i didn't know about butterscotch either. maybe it's because your husband is a lawyer? all those episodes of adam and jack drinking scotch as the credits roll on law and order have made people assume it about attorneys, i think.

it sounds tasty! and i love the line "and then you throw some stuff in a food processor". i'm using that in my next recipe. ;)

Barbara Bakes said...

I too never put it together that butterscotch pudding had scotch in it. Who knew!

The Blonde Duck said...

Have a happy new year! :)

kim said...

sorry the scotch didn't do it for you, but it looks yummy! i kind of liked the kick it gave (i guess i was thinking of the pudding as the mixer ;) )

Matt said...

I'm with you on the hard liquor front. I don't get the attraction (although I do love a good margarita). Some of my younger friends do pudding shots and jello shots both of which sound kind of gross to me.
I didn't make this week's recipe. I'm kind of glad I didn't!

 
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