Friday, September 17, 2010

Meemo makes Caramel Sauce

Rest peacefully, Beth.

Remembering Beth this week.

Mmmmmmm! Rich Caramel Sauce.

Yesterday I needed to make some Corn Panna Cotta with some week old corn on the cob.  The corn was still good but we were a little tired of having it every night for dinner.  I thought I had all the ingredients but , of course I didn't.  Since we are 25 miles from town we can't just run in for an ingredient I forgot so I have to be creative and make do with what I have.

I had forgotten the dulce de leche  or caramel sauce but I figured not to worry, I'd make it from scratch.  I went to and found 2 recipes for dulce de leche.  One had only 3 stars and people complained it didn't work so I skipped it.  The other was authentic but took many hours of patient stirring in order to get perfect results.  I didn't have time or patience so I searched for a good caramel sauce recipe.  There were about 3 of those.  One had a star rating of 1 and almost everyone said it was the worst thing they ever made!  I wonder how that one even got on the websight.  Some of the other ones had ingredients I didn't have, like sweetened condensed milk so they were out.  I did notice that the ones with high stars all took time and patience so I began to worry a bit that they were part of good caramel sauce.

I next resorted to the Better Homes and Gardens red checked cookbooks ( I have 3 dating a way back in time!)  No luck there.  They did have a recipe for caramels but no sauce I could make.  Next I got out Mom's Fannie Farmer cookbook--surely it would have caramel sauce, after all I can still remember the Fannie Farmer candy stores in Milwaukee.  No such luck.  Caramel recipes but no sauce.  OK, one last cook book (Tip, I admit I was avoiding Mrs. Rorer because I figured she'd do the heating up a can of sweetened condensed milk because that was what Dad said he had learned to do).  It is Reader's Digest Secrets of Better Cooking from 1973!  Mind you I have hundreds of cookbooks but was not inclined to search them all!  I am just now realizing I should have went out to the shop and got the French Cooking School Cookbook I spent a fortune on but didn't think of it.

Anyway.... I found an easy sounding recipe so I started to make it.  Oooops, I hadn't noticed I didn't have much brown sugar but maybe I could squeeze out enough and add some regular sugar.  Oh oh, no Karo!  Oh well I don't have maple syrup but I do have some sugar free pancake syrup so I used it.  While I was digging around in my cupboard for syrup I came upon a big bottle of sugar free DaVinci Caramel flavored syrup like they use for flavored coffee so I grabbed it. I was all set.  I got everything going in the pan and I noticed Carla had not used up all the honey that she had added Grand Marnier (or was it Triple Sec) to for her secret recipe so I threw it in to the pot, too.  Then I noticed the little tip at the end of the recipe mentioning that long cooking over low heat was the secret to a smooth velvety sauce.  Well I still had about an hour and a half until dessert time so I let it cook low and slow and did stir it occasionally.  I have to say it was delicious if I do say so myself!  The Panna Cotta recipe is in an earlier post (August 8) but here is the caramel sauce recipe if you don't want to go out to buy Dulce de Leche.  I will give the true recipe and then tell you what I put in due to my lack of ingredients!

Caramel Sauce
For steamed pudding, ice cream, plain baked apples or panna cotta
Makes about 3 cups

1 1/4 C   brown sugar packed* (Yes, Tyson, I do pack it!)
2/3 C. corn syrup (Karo)or maple syrup*
1/4 C. boiling water
3/4 C. light cream
Grated nutmeg or vanilla extract* (optional and I didn't use)

*  I used 1 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar;  I used 2/3 C. Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Butter Flavor Low Calorie syrup (at least it has maple in its name), About 1/4 C. DaVinci gourmet caramel flavor syrup and maybe 2 T. honey mixed with some triple sec or maybe it was grand marnier.
Put brown sugar, syrups, and boiling water in a sauce pan.  Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the light cream and cook until smooth.  Stir frequently.  *What they don't mention is how long that will take and what smooth meansHere's the tip:  Long cooking over low heat makes this sauce smooth and velvety.  It is good just as it is, but it can be flavored with a dash of grated nutmeg or a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  I cooked it on low and stirred every so often for about 1 1/2 hours until it was the consistency of store bought caramel syrup.  When it cools it gets thicker.  I drizzled it over the panna cotta and it was wonderful!  Very caramel flavored thanks to the DaVinci syrup!

Thick and rich, this caramel sauce would be good on ice cream too!

1 comment:

  1. MMMM MMMM MMM sounds wonderful!!

    think it was honey and triple sec. I think by the time I thought about thinning the honey the Grand Marnier was gone.