From the Food Network
Build-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundae with Home-Made Caramel Sauce
Recipe courtesy Bob Blumer
Home-Made Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
2 or 3 different flavored pints ice cream
Some or all of the topping suggestions: chopped up Heath bar, toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips, fresh coconut wedges, fresh raspberries, mini bananas, mint, fresh raspberries, penny candy, etc
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add water and sugar. Stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes, or until sugar melts and turns a golden brown. (Keep a watchful eye on sugar because it will go from being golden brown to burning in about 1 minute).
Immediately remove from heat and whisk in cream* see Note. Stir constantly until smooth. At this point, caramel sauce will be very thin. After it cools, it will thicken to the consistency of, well…caramel sauce.
*Note: when adding and stirring cream, wear an oven mitt on your stirring hand. The heat of the sugar will cause a tremendous amount of scalding steam when it comes into contact with the cream.
To serve, set out ice cream along with caramel sauce and other toppings. Let guests build their own sundaes.
Recipe courtesy of Flo Braker’s Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle, 2000)
1 vanilla bean
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
24-karat gold leaf
Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper; set aside.
Split the vanilla bean in half with a small paring knife, and scrape out the seeds; discard the pod. Add the seeds to the cream in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan; scald the cream and keep the saucepan near the stove so that if the cream cools too much when needed, you can reheat it briefly. In a deep, heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over low heat, blend the corn syrup and the sugar, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes more fluid and most of the sugar appears dissolved.
Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and gently boil until a candy thermometer registers 305 degrees F (hard crack stage), about 9 to 12 minutes.
Add the butter and salt to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Pour in the warm vanilla-flavored cream in a slow but steady stream without letting the boiling stop (be careful-mixture foams up and is steamy). Lower heat to medium and continue to boil gently until the thermometer registers about 248 degrees F, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 14 to 15 minutes.
Let the candy stand about 3 minutes to allow bubbling to subside, then pour into the prepared pan without scraping the saucepan; allow to cool at least 5 hours.
Invert onto a clean cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips; then cut across the strips to form 1/2-inch squares. To apply a patch of gold leaf to each square, use a small artist’s brush. With the brush, lift a tiny patch about the size of an oatmeal flake of gold leaf and deposit it on top of the caramels for decoration.
Cut caramels tend to stick together and not hold their shape unless individually wrapped, so for easiest storage wrap the block of caramels in aluminum foil and cut off portions as needed. Store cut caramels in layers, separated by aluminum foil in an airtight metal or plastic container in a cool place for up to 3 weeks.
Recipe courtesy Charlotte Albright, 2001
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds), apples
Spray bottom and sides of a 9 by 11-inch baking pan with vegetable oil or rub with 1 tablespoon butter. In a small heavy saucepan, combine cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Set aside to warm later.
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt. Over high heat, cook until sugar is dissolved, about 6 to 8 minutes, brushing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals. Stop stirring, insert candy thermometer, reduce heat to medium and let come to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until temperature reaches 250 degrees F (hard-ball stage), about 45 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, place cream and milk mixture over low heat and stir until warm. Do not boil.
When sugar reaches 250 degrees F, stir in the warm cream and the pieces of butter. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thermometer reaches 244 degrees (firm ball stage), 45 to 60 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan without scraping pot. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours without moving. This is the most difficult part, as you will want to eat it!
To cut into candies, coat a cutting board or marble slab generously with vegetable oil spray. Unmold caramel by turning upside down onto oiled surface. Cut into 1-inch by 1 1/2-inch pieces with a very sharp, heavy knife. Wrap with precut waxed paper squares, twisting ends to seal. If you don’t wrap them, the caramel pieces will stick together. Options: Add nuts to bottom of pan and pour caramel over nuts. Cut as above. Or, pour caramel onto pieces of cut up fruit such as apples or pears.
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