1 March 2009

Some passion!

I don’t own an oven and this is awful. Whoever equipped this small shared student apartment that I am currently living in is a simpleton or a scrooge or even both. Yes, a simpleton-scrooge, that is who.

So without the oven in my possession (sob), I’m forced to make do with a gas hotplate. And that’s exactly why you, My Dear Reader, do not happen to be treated much in this place to things roasted (savoury) or baked (desserts). And I hate it, since I would love so much (God knows!) to treat you to desserts more often than I do presently. Now that I think of it I don’t treat you to desserts here at all. Oh, I really hate it.

I reckon you may wonder what about me? Well, I sure can manage for a while without cooked-in-the-oven savoury dishes but I cannot afford to miss out on desserts (thank you for asking). No, I definitely cannot. Thus, being left to my own devices, I’ve developed a survival plan. According to which I either stick to my friends, who own an oven (talk about mean), or I eat my way through luscious pastries from the bakeries in Amsterdam. Either way, I think I am doing pretty fine. So not to worry! Also, when I feel particularly bold and adventurous, I fix exceptionally interesting things on my hotplate. Those in search will always find!

It has come time to confess: two days ago I understood what lust for desserts really means. I made salty caramel sauce. And if it were not for my flat mate who generously helped me to devour the whole batch of this undisguised seduction right on the spot as soon as it cooled down, I don’t know what I would have to do. You can’t eat nearly 2 cups of caramel sauce on your own, can you? Oh. Oh. Oh.

At the moment I tasted this caramel sauce I thought I died of pleasure. Then I felt like crying. But then, I pulled myself together, grabbed a teaspoon and slurpy-ly relished the sauce which is in fact a dessert in itself. Some passion! I remember that after every few spoonfuls I text-messaged to Luke to tell him what was going on. Clearly, I was delirious. Poor man may now think I am a crazy, crazy woman. “Your filthy mind intrigues me”, read his reply.

“Mmmh. It is interesting what you can make, even without the oven”, said my flat mate, after her first spoonful.

I grinned and grinned. I felt ecstatic. This is where I should admit that yes, for a short while, that is, as long as I have my caramel sauce, I can do without the oven indeed.

Although my flat mate (see above) was very generous with her raves and praise for me, I shall hurry up to say that you don’t have to possess any extra powers to make this rich, silky, mind-blowing butter caramel sauce. You only have to be very, very careful. There are two reasons for this: 1) caramel is beastly hot and foams up devilishly when you add liquid substances to it, and 2) it will seduce you something fierce. For the sake of convenience and smooth operation, have all ingredients neatly laid out infront of you beforehand, since, after sugar starts up to melt, each minute counts. First, you melt - in a large heavy-bottomed pan - brown sugar, stirring it continuously. After the sugar has completely melted, give it a few more moments on the stove (do not boil!) and it will develop a deep, sophisticated brown colour, which is what you want.(I made a photo (see below) of the sauce and a bakery-bought caramel candy to show you the difference in colours.) Add the butter, stir it in, and switch off the heat. Finally, pour in the heavy cream and keep whisking until you see a sauce so smooth and beautiful that you will be forced to throw your elusive caution to the wind and succumb to pleasant madness and temptation. At least this is what I did.

The first batch of the sauce I made last Friday and it was gone within a few successive hours. Under such arrangement, as you may have guessed, I couldn’t help but duplicate it. Thrice. I know this sounds preposterous but I seem to irretrievably lose my mind to this caramel goodness. What bothers me a little, though, is I even don’t half mind. In fact, who would when the sauce is so smooth and rich and silky and toffee-like? An utter simpleton, that is who!

Since I followed the recipe for this salty caramel sauce to the letter, I figured it’s better if I refer you to the original version here. This woman, Dab of Smitten Kitchen, knows her butter, among much else!
Lastly, it turns out I am incredibly vulnerable to beautiful temptation. I have to admit it. That’s why yesterday I woke up to an idea that I’d better share this caramel treasure with somebody else (besides my helpful flat mate). So I poured my liquid gold in a jar, wrapped it up, and went on a date. Gentlemen love caramel too!

P.S. Can I just add that the sauce, when refrigerated, makes beautifully for caramel spread too? Oh. Oh. Oh.


Anna said...

Yum!!!! I am a sucker for caramel...especially salted! OH MY!!

toni said...

Anya, we all have our madness. Yours is quite innocent, and, I must add, utterly tempting. Makes me want to hop on a plane and go to Amsterdam, in fact! LOL!

But then again, I love to travel. So any excuse to do so works for me!

Astra Libris said...

Anya, I love your passion for caramel!! I wish you were here or I was there so we could spoon caramel together!!

Your words are true poetry... Catching up on several of your posts, I am awed by your lyrics...

m said...

You know I thought it was impossible to better the taste of caramel ... until I tasted salty caramel...

Cinnamonda said...

Oh-my-goodness what a sauce!:) I hope you had a great date!