While cooking, listen to this: Rookie - Red Velvet
Cooking for a food blog takes a LOT of groceries. I’ve written about this before, but I never ordered groceries online until we started this site - I love doing my own shopping in person, but when I need to get seven recipe’s worth of food for one day, it can get heavy. Add in the occasional five-pound-bag-of-flour refill and no car, and it’s a recipe (I’m not sorry) for an order from my couch.
A lot of the ingredients we order get used up again - the aforementioned flour, sugar, yeast, various vinegars and oils. Some ingredients, though, end up lingering in my kitchen, waiting for their turn in the blog spotlight. Alyssa and I hate wasting food and ingredients, and so we like to come up with recipes that use something we buy more than once.
We needed more drink recipes for the blog, and ended up coming up with the Meyer Lemon Thyme Whisky Sour we posted a couple weeks ago. We used up all of the lemons and most of the thyme got turned into an unreal simple syrup, but we were left with a good amount of whisky.
Obviously not the worst problem to have.
We don’t drink that much whisky, though, and Peter and I don’t really drink at home. The whisky could hang out in the freezer until we needed it next, sure, but we wanted to give it a second chance at happiness.
So we threw it into some salted caramel sauce. HI.
Well, we threw it into some salted caramel sauce twice. The first time I made it, I used a different recipe from my usual, and man did I learn my lesson. There was no cream in the recipe, and very little butter, so when the sauce first came off the heat it seemed absolutely perfect, and then it hardened into an actual solid. As in, stuck to every jar and glass we put it in with a vengeance, and needed to be dissolved in hot water over multiple dish washing sessions. David Lebovitz, I will never leave you or your salted caramel again.
This whisky caramel sauce can be drizzled over any dessert you want, but it pairs really well with vanilla ice cream and strawberries. The strawberries deserved a bit of their own magic, so we macerated them in sugar and black pepper and it actually worked! It gives everything a nice little pop and it’ll make you think you are a true kitchen goddess. Which you are!
We’ve had to do a few do-overs with recipes, but this one definitely had the most redemption. It was a simple fix that led to a majestic sauce that is now sitting happily in my fridge, waiting for it’s second act. Or maybe just a spoon.
Love and meows, Rina
WHISKY CARAMEL SUNDAE WITH BLACK PEPPER STRAWBERRIES
Yield: about 1 cup of sauce; 6-8 sundaes
Active Time: 15m | Total Time: 30m (includes cooling and macerating)
Category: Sweet, Frozen, Spoonable
Source: caramel sauce adapted slightly from smitten kitchen
Note: as mentioned above, this might need some heavy cream to be a sauce and not a candy. Have some on hand just in case.
Vanilla ice cream
whisky caramel sauce:
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup whisky of choice
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 pint fresh strawberries
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Macerate the strawberries: cut the strawberries into small pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle on the sugar and as much black pepper as you want, and stir to combine. Have it sit for 30 minutes.
Make the whisky caramel: have the cream measured and butter cubed in arm's reach. Pour the sugar into a medium saucepan on medium heat and cook it to a deep copper color. Whisk every once in a while to make sure it isn't burning on the bottom. When it's almost at that copper color, whisk continuously to make sure it doesn't burn and that any sugar bits have melted completely. Stir in the butter and whisk until completely melted. Take off the heat and stir in the salt and heavy cream, followed by the whisky, whisking until it's totally smooth. If your sauce is super thin, like ours was, put back on medium heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking continuously, then take off the heat. Allow to cool before using.
Assemble! scoop some vanilla ice cream into a bowl or glass, followed by the whisky caramel and the strawberries. Dig in with a spoon or your face.
To keep: the caramel will keep in the fridge for a week or so, but you will definitely not have leftovers. The strawberries should be macerated and eaten on the same day.