Thursday, 21 July 2011

Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel is my new favourite thing right now.
Its amazingly thick creaminess with a slight crunch of saltiness is divine.
I know I always go back to mentioning my childhood memories, but those memories are the driving force of my passion.
I love capturing the tastes and smells from my childhood. Trying to bring back all the memories that made me who I am today.
The happy, carefree days, spent with family, enjoying different foods and the endless hours of playing with friends and siblings in the dusty streets of our nieghbourhood in Africa.

On the weekends, I mostly remember us having our treats. We used to go out for picnics with family and friends or to restaurants where we used to run around the tables playing or sit and listen to my parents talking, filling our minds with vivid imaginations of the past whilst we waited for our food.

I remember we once were on our drive back from one of our outings when we passed an ice cream place called Dairy Inn. Of course with three noisy kids in the back seat, the right thing for my parents to do was to give in and take us there for our treat :-)
It was so exciting!!!...I had never before seen the yumminess that I saw that day.
After choosing the ice cream of our choice, it would be dipped in to a caramel or chocolate sauce that would immediately harden into a crunchy shell, encasing the ice cream. I think a reason why my parents didn't mind us having them was that they didn't have to worry about us having ice cream running down our arms whilst we tried to eat it because it was protected in the shell.

Of course me being the chocoholic that I always have been, I went for the chocolate option. Not that once but every single time we went to Dairy Inn!!
Once to my utter horror and distress they had run out of my chocolate dip. I was so upset, but after reassurances that the caramel flavour would be just as good, I agreed to have it.
That was the point.
I fell in love with caramel.

There was something about the flavour that I absolutely loved and that is what I tried to capture when I tried to make my caramel sauce.
Of course now being an adult, I don't mind variations. Its fun to try out different things!!
This caramel sauce does not harden but is delightfully sticky and the occasional crunch you get from the sea salt flakes enhances the flavour and makes it all the more delicious!! You can pour it over your ice cream or have it with fruit or brownies or any other sweet or not sweet treat!!

I have two recipes, one that is ridiculously easy that I just tried out myself, and of course Nigella Lawsons'.

Both turn out amazing
Both are yummy.
I want some.

NOW!! :-)

My recipe: (I didn't really use any measurements for this but will try and put it here in its numbers)

Half or 3/4 can of sweetened condensed milk
A heaped tablespoon of golden syrup OR if you don't have that, then you can use any toffee flavoured icecream/cake sprinkles or chunks
Half a teaspoon of good quality sea salt flakes (you can use as much as you'd like)
75ml double cream

All you have to do is put the condensed milk and golden syrup into a small pan and place it on a low heat and keep stirring until it becomes a thick consistency. Pour in the cream to dilute it slightly and keep stirring. Finally sprinkle in the salt flakes.
It takes a while, but the patience is well worth the effort.

(Also, while making this, you WILL be tempted to taste. Be careful, it can burn you very easily )

Nigella's recipe:
75g salted butter, best quality
50g soft light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
50g golden syrup
125ml double cream
½-1½ teaspoons finest salt, to taste

Melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a small, heavy-based saucepan and let it simmer for 3 minutes, swirling and stirring every now and again.
The sauce should turn from gold to dark amber as it cooks.
Add the cream carefully, then half a teaspoon of salt, and swirl again. 
Give it a stir with a wooden spoon and taste – go cautiously so that you don’t burn your tongue – to see if you want more salt, before letting it cook for another minute, then pour into a jug for serving.
Both recipes make enough to serve 5-6 people.

Enjoy the yumminess :-)


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