bourbon caramel sauce

Bourbon caramel sauce

Today, this truly outstanding caramel sauce is making its second appearance on tango-mango, only because it came to my attention that it was never catalogued in my recipes link. Mea culpa! You may not have tried to find it, but I did!

All fixed. To find the recipe for this eye-rolling good, whiskey-infused bourbon caramel sauce, go here. Or, you can now go into my RECIPES AND IN MY KITCHEN link and find it under “Desserts”.

See you later… off to grab the Maker’s Mark.

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Twitter made me do it

I swear I had not an inkling of an idea that I needed to make this rich, decadent sauce until I read one tweet after another from a friend listing all of the desserts she was preparing in her kitchen. Brownies, shortbread, ice cream, chocolate truffle sauce, bourbon caramel sauce. Whoa. Back up. Bourbon caramel sauce? Is there such a thing? How had I missed that in my lifetime? Michele had my rapt attention. I clicked on the handy link she had provided in her tweet and suddenly my day’s agenda changed.

From the moment this was cool enough to not burn my mouth I have dunked one spoon after another into this whiskey-infused sauce. I’m eyeing the apples in my crisper and a few random cookies as potential dippers, too. This is outrageously good. 

Bourbon caramel sauce. From the November 23, 2010 issue of The Oregonian FOODday. Makes about 2 ½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup bourbon whiskey (I used Makers Mark)

Directions:

Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cook the mixture, swirling the pan to promote even browning without stirring, until caramel is nut brown. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cream and salt (be careful, the caramel will bubble furiously; if it hardens, set the pot back over the heat to re-warm). Stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Re-warm gently (microwave at 50 percent power) before serving.

Innis & Gunn Bourbon Dark Ale (7.4% abv)

Poor ol’ Innis & Gunn, amongst the larger UK craft beer community these Scottish dudes are kinda seen as the brewery equivalent of that creepy uncle whose stained rain coat seems to crawl of it’s own accord if you mistakenly get to close, no, that’s unfair. They’re like that dog in your grandparents small town that spends it’s days urinating on old ladies feet and snarling at small children like it want’s to eat their faces off in front of their parents. Nah, that’s not right either. They’re more like that bore of a fixture at the local pub who can drain someone’s life force with just a few words in his monotone drawl. What I mean is, most who know ‘em have learned to steer clear. 

This was a gift. I&G’s commitment to mediocrity has burned me too many times before and these days I walk past their bottles of couldn’t-give-a-fuckery without a second glance. So it was with some trepidation that I opened the really quite lovely box and popped the cap on that equally attractive bottle. Maybe this wasn’t gonna be so bad… 

A sip and… Slap me ‘round the chops with a wet dildo and call me Clarence! This really isn’t so bad at all. Like stewed dark stone fruits smothered in bourbon caramel sauce and garnished with a random twig. It’s unsurprisingly sweet and malty, the bourbon is restrained but evident throughout, and a lurking spicy earthiness develops towards the finish. It’s smooth, medium bodied and err, delicately carbed (or well, flat), but those well crafted and complex yet subtle and easy drinking flavours really did a number on my taste buds. I gotta say I thoroughly enjoyed it and even think I’ll try and grab a few more if I can.

Wait, what

The Bruery Sucre, 16.9% abv

The attractively presented beers from Orange County’s The Bruery are a rare sight on these shores, so imagine my delight when I stumbled across this vision of loveliness at a local apothecary (amongst the healing elixirs donchaknow). I immediately decided had to have it despite the rather extortionate amount of groats they were asking, and soon I was cycling the penny-farthing home with a weighted basket and light wallet.

Sucre is The Bruery’s 6th anniversary ale. It’s loosely based on an English old ale, fermented with their own Belgian yeast strain, and blended using the solera method whereby each anniversary ale is added to a blend of those that came before it (and has been barrel aging all this time). This is then aged again, mine in bourbon barrels though there are other varieties out there, and some will be put aside for next years anniversary brew in order to continue its beery evolution. Sounds pretty special right? 

Time to try it then, after I’ve battled my way through that lovely waxed top that is. The pour is dark, almost black until held to the light whereby its beautiful, deepest of red colouring becomes apparent. The aroma is already making me sigh and I haven’t even performed my nose hole exercises! Huge fruity notes erupt from the glass, plums, dates, raisins, there’s an unmistakable bourbon kick, lashings of caramel, just spectacular. 

A sip. Crikey. it’s like bourbon caramel sauce poured over stewed stone fruits. It’s certainly sweet, but not at all sickly, those massive fruity notes from the plums, raisins, and dates are joined by rows of fig newtons and an entire slab of rich, all butter toffee, there’s whole vanilla pods and a deep woodiness, the bourbon pulling no punches. The level of complexity is extraordinary, layer after layer of intense fruity magnificence unveils itself in all it’s glory upon my tongue. That generous amount of alcohol is certainly noticeable but never overpowering.

A half hour has passed in what seems like a minute. This is a beer to warp the very fabric of time, or at least my perception of it. It’s no secret that I find big, complex barrel aged blends rather special, but this is as delicious and intoxicating as any beer I’ve ever had. That next years Anniversary ale from The Bruery will somehow improve on this I have no doubt, and that thought makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I just hope I can find a bottle. Cheers!