Thursday, 28 March 2013

The ultimate salted Caramel Sauce from food glorious food

The Ultimate Salted Caramel

Every week I volunteer at a community centre and teach people how to cook, or cook for a crowd of thirty who turn up to watch the local skiffle band called Route 66, it is one of my favourite things to do, I actually think I get more from it than the people I'm teaching or cooking for. What is fantastic is that the band consist of both able and disabled individuals who have either mental or physical disabilities, watching the band perform is amazing, it's very apparent to those who watch them that the community centre and the band is their world.

 Last summer we were contacted by ITV (an English television channel) who had seen the recipes and images of the cookery classes and the music from the band and had asked us if we would like to apply to be on a new television show called Food Glorious Food, the premise is that each person or group cook one dish and one dish only, that dish is then judged and if you are successful you could walk away with the grand prize of £20,000 and your dish on the shelves of Marks and Spencer. I was asked by the band members Route 66 to come up with a pudding that could represent the band, and symbolise the Anglo American music. My Idea was to cook a classic bread and butter pudding and add blueberries and bourbon to give it an American Route 66 twist. 
 We managed to get through the rounds to compete in the semi final, unfortunately that is where the journey ended, we did make it through to the final 24 in the country, had the recipe published and received some amazing compliments from the judges, one of which was from Stacey Stewart, who said that my pudding was better than Nigella Lawson and she is the queen of bread and butter pudding, and also the Salted caramel was the best that she had ever tasted, and faultlessly outstanding by Tom Parker Bowles (praise indeed). So here is my confession, I hate bread and butter pudding, and although the pudding was somewhat successful I could not get on with it. I don't think is tasted bad it just wasn't my thing and it's hard to believe in something you do not believe in yourself. The pudding has now been published and will hopefully bring the community centre the much needed publicity they deserve, but the accompaniment of the salted caramel sauce was never published, so the secret of "best salted caramel sauce" stays with me, until now. I happen to think that the sauce made the pudding and I know I make a killer caramel, this goes with all puddings and vamps up plain ice cream, it's that good you could bathe in it!! Bit sticky though!

You will need:
100g of good butter
200g caster sugar
4 tbsp of golden syrup
150ml extra thick double cream
2 tsp maldon sea salt
4 1/2 tsp of good bourbon
1 tbsp vanilla paste with seeds

Heres the science, melt the sugar and butter together in a pan until it begins to caramelize and turn golden, add the golden syrup and swirl the pan until the sugar is fully melted (do not stir it you will create sugar crystals). When the sugar and golden syrup is a toffee brown add the cream and stir like crazy, add the salt and vanilla and cook and stir until combined. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the bourbon immediately, you do not want to cook it as it will burn the alcohol off and defeats the object of the bourbon flavour. Allow to cook to thicken and serve on everything.

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