Makes 3-1/2 cupsPour this perfumed caramel sauce over Vanilla Bean (page 55 of the book) or Crema Ice Cream (page 54), and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. This makes a big batch of sauce, but it keeps almost indefinitely in the refrigerator and makes a perfect gift.
One day before serving, in a small bowl, combine the cream and the lavender. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
Strain the cream into a small saucepan, pressing on the lavender to extract all the liquid; discard the lavender. Heat the cream until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Cover and set aside.
Combine the golden syrup or corn syrup, honey, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. (Meanwhile, rinse the spatula or spoon for use again later.) Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more. Attach the thermometer to the pan without letting it touch the bottom and cook, uncovered (without stirring), until the mixture reaches 305 degrees F.
When the sugar mixture is at 305 degrees F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream, taking care, as the mixture will bubble up and steam dramatically. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the cream is completely incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 225 degrees F or, for a sauce that thickens like hot fudge over ice cream, 228 degrees F.
Pour the caramel sauce into a sauceboat to serve or into a heatproof jar for storage. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator indefinitely; before using reheat gently in the microwave or a saucepan, just until warm and flowing.
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This page created February 2008
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