This past summer we took the kids to Southwest France for the annual family reunion with my husband’s family. One of the things I’m always charmed by in this region of France are the salt marshes or “Marais Salant” as they are called.
They are such a curious sight and produce the most wonderful salt. In fact, while biking the bike paths of Ile de Re (the only way to get around the island!) we happened upon a little “Auto-Boutique”, where you could help yourself to the local salt products and just leave the money in the basket!
Of course, I love the fact that the sign above warns “This is not a place for people with “reduced morality”. A gentle deterrent I suppose for those less trustworthy tourists? 🙂
With all this salt (and butter!) around it’s no wonder the French have dreamed up all types of delicious salted caramel desserts! Craving this wonderful flavor combination once I got home, I dreamed up one of my own. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and it transports you to the lovely region of Southwest France 🙂
For a video tutorial of this recipe you can watch my video demo below. SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL and never miss a recipe (it’s free!) and new videos post each Saturday! Enjoy!xx
- For Salted Caramel:
- 1 cup (200 g) Sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) of heavy cream or whipping cream, warmed
- ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) fleur de sel sea salt
- 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla
- For Puddings:
- 5 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup (35 g) cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 cups (475 ml) milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter
- For Garnish:
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy Cream
- 1 tbsp (6 g) powdered sugar
- ½ tsp (5 ml) vanilla
- Toffee Bits
- In a large sauce pot combine the sugar and heat on medium high swirling the sugar until it turns a deep amber and is completely dissolved. This will take 7-10 mins. DO NOT WALK AWAY! It will burn very quickly if not careful and must be swirled in order to prevent burning.
- Once caramel appears, add ½ cup of warmed heavy cream, TURN OFF FLAME. Allow for boiling to settle, and then whisk to combine. Add ¼ tsp Fleur de Sel salt and 2 tbsp of butter. Whisk until smooth and transfer to a Pyrex pitcher to cool.
- Then in a large heat safe mixing bowl, add egg yolks and cornstarch, whisk until a smooth paste forms and set aside.
- In a large sauce pot add milk, cream and vanilla bean paste scraped from bean, and the bean itself. Simmer until foamy.
- Drain cream mixture through a sieve into a large heat safe container, to catch bits of vanilla pod.
- Then slowly pour a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whish to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling, continue to add the rest of the cream mixture whisking all the while until fully combined.
- Transfer this mixture into a cleaned out pot and heat on medium high, whisking all the while until thickened to a light pudding consistency but is still pourable. This will happen quickly as soon as it stats to thicken so don’t walk away!
- Remove from the heat (since it will continue to thicken if left on the hot burner)
- Add 2 tbsp (30 g) of butter and whisk until smooth. Add the caramel and whisk until smooth.
- Pour into heat safe ramekins, leave uncovered. And refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Top puddings with a sprinkle of fleur de sel, a dollop of homemade whipped cream and toffee bits.