Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You-can-do-this Caramel Sauce

A substitue teacher at my alma mater held his cup of coffee, sniffed the steam, and sighed: Ahh, coffee. Nectar of the gods. Every cup. Every time. It became one of my family's silly jokes that we quote as if everyone's in on it.

I sigh the same way over a cup. A sense of relief at what I'm about to sip.

But the phrase is all wrong {and maybe my attitude}. The God that does not sleep or slumber also does not brew a pot before watching over the eastern seaboard. Not ambrosial nectar.

Delicious as it is, coffee is a product of weakness. Weakness that is the penalty of sin. I'm exhausted, subjected to futility because I live in a messed up world. The wages of sin is death, thus my body runs down, my mind clouds over. The better remedy is sleep. When sleep isn't an option, coffee.

My thoughts over a cup should run, Lord, save me from this frail body. In the mean time, thank you for stimulants.

Now that I have justified coffee as a reminder of the cross, let's talk about how to make it yummy. {Was that not the strangest lead in to a recipe??}

You can do this! Caramel Sauce
Absolutely perfect for a homemade caramel macchiato or hot chocolate or cider or a spoon. Really anything.  What says "Welcome Fall!" like a jar of browned sugar and cream?
photo credit

You will need:
a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula
a heavy duty sauce pot, 3 or 4 quart

1 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 T honey {you can use cornstarch if you don't like the flavor of honey}

1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c water
pinch of salt
1/2 t vanilla

Combine the sugar, water and honey in sauce pot and heat over medium. Stir occasionally while sugar dissolves. As sugar cooks, it will bubble and darken. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid uneven heat {you don't have to stand over it...yet}. When the sugar turns amber {this takes longer than you think}, keep a close eye on it and stir more frequently. Cook 3-4 more minutes until the sugar is the color of a penny.
Remove from heat. And stir in heavy cream and water {this will sputter and splatter}. If some of the sugar clumps with the cool liquid, return to low heat and stir until it melts in. When sugar is fully mixed in, add the salt and vanilla.
Pour into a ball jar and store in refrigerator. Thanks to the water, this recipe should be pourable from the fridge. If it's a little stiff, heat it in the microwave in 30 second bursts. The caramel sauce will keep for months, but it won't last that long {smile}.

In case you're wondering how someone who barely blogs once a week finds time to make caramel sauce, well... I was jonesing for a caramel macchiato. All the preservatives and artificial colors in store-bought caramel bothered me, so I made my own. I realize that is a bit like complaining of light pollution from a forrest fire. What can I say? I'm a little ridiculous.

Thanks to My Baking Addiction for the inspiration.

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