Salted Caramel Sauce with Dark Honey Cake

salted-caramel-sauceI have had this dark honey cake pinned for years.  It was one of my first pins and I have been thinking about making it for so long, I think that I had built it up in my mind into something magical.  I remembered that there was a homemade caramel sauce and whipping cream with it and having these added components is what stopped me from making it sooner.  It just sounded…complicated.  Luckily it wasn’t at all.  The cake came together quickly and I made the caramel sauce, but I have to admit that I planned on saying that you could just buy a caramel sauce at the store.  Yeah, I was very wrong on that count.  Don’t even think about not making this caramel sauce.  It is the stuff that dreams are made of.  In fact I wrote a poem about it.

Ode to Salted Caramel Sauce

Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways

I love thee in the morning with yogurt, oatmeal and pancakes

I love thee in the noon day with grahams, apples and ice cream shakes

I love thee all throughout the day when I only wield a spoon

I loved thee until thou wast gone; I hope you return soon.

AnneOpinion

So I guess you can tell that I fell kind of hard for the caramel sauce.  I was amazed at how much I loved this sauce.  I’m normally more of a chocolate girl.  I like caramel, but if I’m given the choice between a caramel or a hot fudge sundae, the hot fudge will win every time.  My love of this caramel sauce took me completely by surprise and soon I was dipping all kinds of things in the caramel (see poem), but then I decided to stop wasting calories on the vehicle and just grab a spoon and satisfy the craving that way.  (could someone please tell me why I’m constantly needing to diet?) 😉

What I learned after making this a few times is that you want to whisk the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves and then turn up the heat and leave it alone.  How long you let it brown will determine how dark your caramel sauce is.  The one pictured above was just barely brown.  Other batches I let go about a minute longer and they were much darker.  All of them were good. 🙂  The key thing that I learned, is that you cannot add all of the cream at once.  The sugar will seize up and you’ll have hard sugar chunks stuck to your whisk (tasty, but no bueno).  You have to temper the sugar by adding the cream a quarter cup a time, stirring constantly. Keep that in mind and you should be golden.

The cake (get the recipe here) had a mild flavor and it went well with the caramel sauce.  The flavors worked well together and neither was overpowering.  The dark part of it was cocoa, but it wasn’t super chocolately.  I liked the honey used as the sugar in the cake and it wasn’t as dense as I would have thought.  I thought that using shortening in cake was different but it worked fine.  I think that it would also be good with a hot fudge sauce, but then you wouldn’t have reason to make the salted caramel sauce, and you really need to make the caramel sauce.

post-closer

 

 

 

 

Salted Caramel Sauce
Print Recipe
Salted Caramel Sauce
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream, adding only a quarter cup at a time and thoroughly whisking before adding the next. The mixture will bubble and steam. Stir in the butter and salt. Allow to cool. Store in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Old Fashioned Ice Cream

bag-ice-creamI remember as a kid making “Kick the Can Ice Cream” which consisted of putting the ice cream ingredients into one small can, placing that can, ice cream salt, and ice into another larger can, closing it with a lid and then rolling the can between me and another kid for 15 minutes and then magically finding ice cream in it when we were done.  This is a method that was used in olden times by children.  I made it at Girl Scouts and Pioneer Day activities when I was younger.

Now I do a slightly different version, but it’s still as fun for the kids, and by kids I mean everyone 2-92.

AnneOpinion

I tried doing the can version once as an adult with a group of children and I learned that the cans can sometimes bust open or leak.  I have found that using the bags works much better for me.

bag-ice-cream2I have read many recipes that call for milk or half and half instead whipping cream. They both work just fine but I feel like if I’m making ice cream, there should be some cream involved, if you know what I mean.

I chose to make our ice cream mint cookies and cream flavor.  The fun thing about making ice cream this way is that everyone can specialize their ice cream to be just what they want.  Have different extracts, food coloring, fruits, candy and cookies available.

Strawberry ice cream?  No problem!

You want Snickers in yours?  You got it.

I’m the best mom on the block?  Thank you!  So glad you noticed.

post-closer

 

Mint Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Print Recipe
Mint Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a Ziploc sandwich bag, place cream, sugar, extract, cookies and food coloring. Seal and mix together. Place bag in a quart sized Ziploc along with salt as much ice as you can fit. Shake, toss, squish and generally move the bag around for 10-15 minutes. Take the sandwich bag out of the larger bag and enjoy the ice cream of your labors!
Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Breakfast Boats

breakfast-boatsFunny Story.  A couple of weeks ago I was in charge of the meals for 225 people at our church’s girls camp for teenage girls.  I picked up most of the groceries ahead of time myself because I can’t stand paying more for things than I need to.  For example, I couldn’t buy watermelon from my supplier for $6 each when I could get them at the local grocery store for $2.  (side note- Is anyone else as stoked as me about the amazing low prices this year on watermelon?!  Does anyone else out there still use the word stoked?)

I wasn’t able to do this with most of the produce and bread because our camp started on Monday morning and all of my shopping needed to be done on Saturday.  I ordered the extra items from a local food supplier who delivered it all right to the camp; that delivery was worth every penny. 🙂 One of the things that I ordered was 40 loaves of French bread.  These were to be used for Cheesy Bread with lasagna one night and Crème Brulee French Toast for breakfast.  After everything was delivered and set up we started to look for the French bread and found that I had ordered demi loaves.  Had I made this recipe before going to camp I would have known that a demi loaf is not a full sized loaf, but a sandwich sized one.  AHH!!  We did some quick maneuvering and were able to get 26 loaves from a Wal Mart in the next town over and used the demi loaves for the Cheese bread (it was amazing!) and the full sized bread for the French toast.  Crisis averted.  Whew!  I don’t think that I’ll ever forget how big a demi loaf is now.

I found these Breakfast Boats when I was looking for a new breakfast to make for Father’s Day this year.  Father’s Day is a breakfast I like to make something good for, but I don’t want to make a “woman’s breakfast.”  My kids thought the Breakfast Boats looked like canoes so I think that the “manly” breakfast was achieved.  I found this recipe on Spoon, Fork, Bacon (don’t you just love that name!).  I loved that it was a little bit fancy, with out having it be a “fru-fru” breakfast.  I ended up loving them even more than I thought that I would.

AnneOpinion

First, if you’re like me and buy the bread a couple of days ahead of time, don’t leave it in the paper bag that it comes in.  Transfer it to plastic bags or containers so that your bread doesn’t go rock solid. (yep, personal experience right here!)  I picked mine up at Costco if you’re wondering where to find them.

I chose to use bacon instead of pancetta.  Either one would work great.  If you’re thinking that you only want the 4 oz that the recipe calls for, I suggest buying your bacon from the butcher at the grocery store.  It’s around the same price as the prepackaged and you only have to buy what you need.

I loved the gruyere cheese in these.  It was what I felt set them apart as something fancy and “better than everyday.”

My boats cooked for 35 minutes before I felt like they were set.  The original recipe had you cook them for 20-25.  I would check them after 25, but be prepared to let them go for an additional 10 minutes.

One thing I discovered is that these can easily be partially made ahead.  The night before you can make up the egg mixture.  Then it the morning you will just need to cut the bread, give the egg mixture a quick stir and pour it in.  You’re now ready to go.

You can have these for you’re Father’s Day breakfast too, a Sunday morning brunch, or just because you’re wanting add a little bit of fancy to your everyday life.  Whatever the reason, you should take the time to try these because they are goo-od!

post-closer

 

Breakfast Boats
Print Recipe
Breakfast Boats
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a deep “V” through the tops of each baguette until about a 1/2 inch to the bottom. Take off the top, getting a good amount of the inside with it. Set aside. Place the eggs and cream into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide and pour the mixture into each baguette boat and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut and serve.
Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe