Monday, September 26, 2011

warm caramel sauce: a fresh start


I feel awful. Really awful. For about a month now I've been thinking about how I've neglected my blog. The poor thing has just been sitting there waiting for me to show it some love. 

Well, I'm sorry little blog, I've been a terrible owner. I could tell you that I've been too busy working or traveling or doing very very important things. But the truth is: I've been lazy. And it's been difficult to get out of that habit of being lazy.

I decided this year that I was going to enjoy my summer as much as possible. As a result of that, I spent a lot of my free time with my family and friends, going out, staying in, having BBQ's, taking walks and all around just enjoying the weather, which means that I spent very little time in the kitchen. But now that the weather is starting to cool down I've so been looking forward to cooking and baking. 


As much as I love summer, autumn is my absolute favorite season. There is something so wonderful about autumn; whether it's the crisp, cool air, the crunchy leaves (stepping on them: favorite pass-time) or the general all-around cozy feeling. I can't wait to stay in and make stews and bread and roasts and pies and...and...and. I sound like a kid in a toy store (trust me, I know exactly what that sounds like!) 

I can't wait to try so many of the new recipes that I've been eyeing from all the amazing blogs out there. But then why do I seem to be going back to some old favorites? As much I want to try making new sweets, sometimes the tried and true are the best. It's got to be some of that laziness still lying around in me.  

 

Seems to have traveled with me too last week. I had the best week in Vancouver visiting an awesome friend where all we did was eat, shop, go to thrift stores, eat and bake. Yup, it pretty much reeked of laziness. And it was fiiiiine by me. I guess that's why I decided to make that delicious apple cake once more, but this time I poured some caramel sauce all over it....o..m..g. It was a perfect Sunday: organic farmer's market after breakfast for some fresh apples and eggs, then eating it with some tea in the afternoon while the sun shone through the window. I wish I could do that all the time. But being back home now is so nice. 


Next weekend I'm going apple picking, which in my books means that it is officially autumn. I am so excited, you have no idea. I haven't been since I was a child, so this is definitely an exciting event! Note to self: clear up some space in the freezer for the many apple pies that I will subsequently make and freeze.

So this post is a reminder to myself that even though summer is over, there are plenty of good times ahead. And honestly, I can't wait to spend them with the people I love.

Silky Caramel Sauce

Yields approximately 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Procedure

The first thing to do is prepare all your tools and equipment. Making caramel is quick business, so it's imperative to have everything ready from the beginning. It might also be a good idea to have a bowl of ice water and some oven mitts near you in case you get burnt. Trust me, cooked sugar is extremely hot and can do serious damage. Make sure the butter and cream are measured and ready to go.
Place the sugar in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan and cook over med-high heat. Once the sugar starts to melt around the sides, stir quickly with a wooden spoon or whisk and then let it come to a boil. Do not stir once it starts to boil! Just let it boil and turn to a deep amber colour. As soon as it starts to look amber, add the butter and whisk quickly until completely melted. Remove pan from the heat and add the cream slowly. This part can get a little scary so do it slowly and carefully. Keep whisking as you add the cream. Watch out because the cream will foam up and rise quickly. Just keep stirring until you get a nice smooth texture. Leave to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes to thicken up. Once cool, you can pour it into a glass jar and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving. You can also add flavourings or alcohol after the cream. 

 
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