Home > Food > Chocolate-Caramel Sauce is day 2 of my 3 day dessert!

Chocolate-Caramel Sauce is day 2 of my 3 day dessert!

Last night I made my first try at Caramel. Read on for details – and picture links!

Quick recap:

On Thursday, I made Emily Luchetti’s Double Chocolate Brownie Cakes, with a promise to top it with her Caramel-Chocolate Sauce. You can read about the cakes here – with pictures and link to recipe! At the time, however, I elected NOT to go with her recommended accompaniment: Ice Cream. Late Thursday, while blogging, I changed my mind. I WILL go with the Ice Cream, but I’ll also make it a 3 day desert. Day 1 was Thursday, the cakes. Day 2 was Friday (yesterday) and adds the sauce, but I didn’t make it until after dinner, so blog entry about it (this one) had to wait. Day 3 is today. I’ll be making the Ice Cream later today – from one of Emily’s recipes of course! And doing a final blog post.

OK. Background Info complete. Onward!

In yesterday’s post, I promised to report on how the cakes tasted. Frankly, I think I baked them a bit too long. I relied on my inexperienced guess as to what constitutes “springy”. They taste great, but the inside is far drier than I expected when reading the recipe. I’ll definitely try it again!

I’m going to format this a bit differently than my last. You can see ALL the pictures in a public Google+ album by clicking HERE. Once on the page, hover over each picture for larger version, or click for largest version.

I’ll tantalize you here with only the complete dessert, including sauce:

Since the recipe appears on a page that says “All Rights Reserved” – although it DOES have a “Terms of Use” button which I decided to click, then decided NOT to read (too much fine print) – I present the recipe where I first saw it: In Emily’s flickr stream.

Narrative:

I was actually surprised by how easy this is! I’ve certainly conquered my fear of caramel. Prep is fast, consisting of measuring 4 ingredients, chopping only one. And giving the saucier an extra wash to help prevent crystalization!

Recipe steps done exactly (almost, see verdict). Total time – EXCLUDING pauses to take pictures – 30 minutes. And that includes cleaning up all prep containers/knives/surfaces during Step 3 – while keeping a close eye on sauce.

There are a few things I would change:

  • Larger saucier or saucepan – it ALMOST bubbled over during Step 3.
  • A bit longer on high heat during step 2 – details in my verdict below
  • Invite a friend! I wanted to take pictures DURING addition of cream (Step 3), but it’s kinda hard w/ both hands in oven mitts as Emily recommends!

I was expecting the sauce to be, well, more like sticky/gooey caramel than it turned out out to be. As I think about it, it occurs to me that the water and chocolate prevented this from being what I’d expected. I think my brain latched onto “Caramel” in creating my expectation. But that’s OK, this is a SAUCE, not a caramel. My brain has now been corrected!

Verdict:

Good, but not great. I didn’t get the complex flavors I associate with great caramel. I’m guessing that they weren’t there NOT because they were masked by the chocolate, but because I may not have given enough high heat time in step 3. What  EXACTLY is “Amber”?

Will I try this again? That’s a definite maybe! Having conquered my fear of Caramel, I think I’ll next move on to pure caramel, then salted caramel, then at the request of a Twitter friend (you know who you are!): Chiptole Fleur del Sel Caramel. I will certainly create desserts sufficient to consume what I made last night – include the finale of my 3 day dessert. In the future? I’ll certainly try again if/when I’m trying something else for which this might be the perfect sauce!

Final geeky stuff:

I have an IR thermometer and monitored the surface temperature of the boiling sugar during Step 2. I was surprised at how low it boiled initially (85degC), then surprised again at the rapid rise to 154degC near the end. Next time, if there is one, I’ll let it get a little hotter. Emily: Can you recommend an ending surface temp in measurable terms instead of “Amber”?

For information on Emily, and where you can buy her books, see the end of my LAST post – I linked to it above, just after the break.

Catch you all either later today, or if I’m feeling lazy, tomorrow when I complete my 3 Day Dessert!

–Steve

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Categories: Food Tags: , ,
  1. 24 Mar 2012 at 22:09

    Steve- good for you for making everything. For next time- flip the order and make the sauce ahead and the cakes the day off. Cakes are best served fresh and the sauce can be made a week ahead. Yes, you may have overcooked the cakes. the skewer should still be fudgey. when in doubt take them out of the oven. hard to make them too fudgey. On the caramel sauce you probably did not cook it enough. If the color was more tan (before you added the chocolate) cook it longer. (AT this point you are right it doesn;t have as much flavor and is thinner) to get the right color when it gets close gently (with a spatula or wooden sppon) swirl the top of the caramel to push the bubbles aside so you can actually see the color. when it colors to the point where you can’t see the bottom of the pan through the sauce it should be done. You can always turn off the heat. It is so hot it will continue to cook. sometimes easier to see the color if it is not bubbly. you can always turn the heat back on. Hope this helps.

  2. Steve
    24 Mar 2012 at 22:20

    Emily, I’m sure it will!!

    I know I could have flipped the cake and sauce order, but I live alone, and the cakes sounded so good I just had to have one NOW! I still have 6 of the 8.

    And sounds like I guessed right on my mistakes. And I’m grateful for the tips for next time!

    Steve

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