This has been a week of some culinary success as I wrapped up loose ends on three projects. Because the projects were started here, with you, I wanted to report back on what went down.
First, the caramel sauce: In an earlier post, I’d learned how to avoid crystallization by covering the pot while the sauce boils down. Because the water is trapped in the pot, the evaporation and browning occur much more slowly than if the pot boiled uncovered. (But if it boiled uncovered, I’d have to wipe down the inside of the pot with a wet pastry brush, and that method rarely ends well for me.) The result of my four (yes, I made caramel sauce four times in a row) trials was light caramel, followed by just a wee bit darker caramel, bit darker yet, then my final batch of still blonde caramel.
The book I took my recipe from mentioned an ultra-dark, nearly burnt caramel sauce that sounded divine. This is what I wanted. I tried again this week and was thrilled with my final batch of deep, dark, caramelly caramel that was just this side of smoky in flavor. Sea Salt Caramel success could finally be checked off my list. The difference this time? A digital thermometer ensured the recommended end-point of 355°F. With my closed-pot method, this took over half-an-hour to achieve, but so worth it. The sauce was finger- and bowl- and spoon-licking good.
Since there’s finally an amazing caramel sauce in the house, I needed ice cream. After enjoying buttermilk ice cream from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones (this was quite an adventure–read about it here if you like tales of intrigue, loss, and ultimate triumph), I wanted a shot at the book’s crème fraîche flavor.
First step was making crème fraîche–already a favorite kitchen project of mine. Recipes are easy to find online, but my version whisks together 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and 1 tablespoon plain yogurt and lets it sit overnight in a warm place before refrigerating for storage. Next, the ice cream: The recipe mirrors the one for the buttermilk version except for losing one egg yolk and replacing the buttermilk and vanilla (stirred in just before churning) with 1 cup crème fraîche and 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice. It’s a tart little number, slightly sour but still sweet. More decadent than the buttermilk, which had a simpler flavor, the crème fraîche was second on my list. That said, it’s a fun flavor and I’d make it again.
My final wrap-up was the launch of my new deLizious website. Fifteen years ago I started Food Communication Services; last year I decided it needed freshening up. This blog was a part of the re-launch, as was a new name, new logo, and facebook page (all fun food and drink all the time!). The biggest piece of the pie was a new website and I’m thrilled to finally see it live. Many thanks to all followers and readers and commenters and likers. deLizious wouldn’t be as much fun without you! With gratitude, I send you crème fraîche ice cream and caramel sauce wishes:-)