Sunday, December 26, 2010

coffee caramel sauce.

If I say caramel, what do you think of? Did the word chocolate come to mind? Come on, admit it. I know you did.

And that's what I don't get. Chocolate-caramel. Why not coffee-caramel? I think coffee caramel is a much better combination, albeit a lesser used one. My threshold for sweetness is extremely extremely high but chocolate and caramel is testing my limits. Not to mention that they are both quite heaty on their own already. The chocolate often overpowers the caramel, and all you're left with is a too-rich chocolate mixture. Now, let's talk coffee caramel. Who loves caramel macchiato? I do! Instead of battling each other, coffee accentuates caramel and vice versa. That's why I made this sauce.

I like to substitute heavy cream for evaporated milk in sauces whenever I can. And since I succeeded with the swap in my awesome salted caramel sauce, I used it in this sauce too. The setback in using evaporated milk is that it doesn't thicken as much as with heavy cream. Desperate, I tried to use egg whites. (Think creme anglaise!) I wasn't quick enough to thoroughly mix in the egg whites, and I ended up with egg-white-drop caramel soup. Bleh. But the sauce did thicken slightly with the help of some of the egg whites that managed to be incorporated.

In the end, I strained out the scrambled whites and poured in about 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. And like magic, it started to thicken beautifully! Ah well, at least I succeeded halfway.

Note: I didn't follow the recipe's instructions to cook the caramel until it's a deep golden because I wanted the sauce to remain more fluid. I stopped at 238F, that's why my caramel couldn't thicken enough without heavy cream. I believe that if you do cook it as instructed, you wouldn't need the heavy cream.

Coffee Caramel Sauce
recipe from GroupRecipes

Ingredients

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
      3 tablespoons water
        Freshly squeezed lemon juice, two or three drops
          1/2 cup fresh whipping cream *I subbed in evaporated milk
            1/4 cup coffee, brewed double strength
            1/4 teaspoon freshly ground coffee
              2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
                1 teaspoon sweet butter unsalted
                  Pinch of salt
                  • Directions
                  • Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
                  • Increase the heat to medium high until mixture comes to a boil.
                  • If sugar crystals remain, use a wet pastry brush to help them dissolve.
                  • Continue to boil the liquid until it turns a deep caramel color, but do not stir and do not allow to burn.
                  • This should take about five or six minutes.
                  • Remove from heat and stir in the coffee, cream, and coffee granules until all are dissolved.
                  • Because the caramelized sugar is very hot, stir carefully to avoid bubbles.
                  • Return the pan to medium heat and continue to stir the mixture until thoroughly mixed.
                  • Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture thickens, about five more minutes.
                  • Add the vanilla, butter and salt.
                  • Stir once more and pour into a warmed pitcher or gravy bowl, and serve.

                  • Hey, here's an idea: why not put it in your morning coffee? 

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