I’d love to think of myself as a new age Julia Child… starting a culinary career in my mid-thirties, learning from top chefs while teaching home cooks & non-cooks the tricks of the trade. Then to publish a cookbook or two and have a television cooking show, not necessarily in that order!
Although my friend, and a past flatmate, Paula used to joke “O-ooh, Juuu-lee-ah’s back in the kitchen tonight!’” and our stories have a slight similarity, I still have a long way to go! But I feel Julia and I have a bond – our passion for teaching and our passion for food with a glass of something on the side!
Alcohol brings another layer to a dish that can’t be substituted by anything else. The key is understanding the flavour profile of the alcohol you’re using and whether it will work with the other flavours in the dish. To understand flavour combinations, a fantastic resource is The Flavour Bible which I am very thankful Sushil Ravikumar (a friend, past MasterChef New Zealand contestant and now of Shushil’s Tasty Manna) recommended to me. Oh, and remember to taste, taste, taste!
One of my favourites, is bourbon – especially with sweet things. My signature Bourbon Chocolate Cake with Morello Cherries and a Coffee Liqueur Ganache was a hit with MasterChef New Zealand judges and is now a favourite with Wellingtonians through my boozE cakes stand at the City Market – I do take orders! But I’m steering away from chocolate today.
What’s just as decadent and goes superbly with desserts?! And even pancakes or waffles!?! Bourbon caramel sauce… it’s super easy, super quick, and super yummy. Serving suggestions after recipe – but you’re only limited by your imagination!
Simply Sweet Bourbon Caramel Sauce (makes approximately 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (pack down firmly in measuring cups & level off)
- 75g (2.6oz) butter
- 1/3 cup thickened cream
- 1/2 t lemon juice
Add all the ingredients except lemon juice into a saucepan on med heat.
While stirring bring to a simmer and then turn heat down to low.
Once sauce is all combined and smooth add lemon juice.
Simmer on low stirring for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
If you have any leftover, store in fridge for up to 3-4 days. From cold, spoon out the amount you want to use & microwave on low to loosen back up. Never reheat food more than once.
Things this sauce goes well with:
- French toast
- Whole meal cinnamon scones
- Crumb or coffee cakes
- Banana loaf
- Apple (or peach) tarts, crumbles and cobblers
- Bread & butter pudding
- Cheesecake (brown sugar, vanilla, lemon)
- Chocolate brownies
- Cinnamon scrolls
- Ice cream
- Cake – Pineapple, Pumpkin or kumara (sweet potato), Banana, Apple
- Steamed or sticky pudding
It also goes really well with buttered popcorn! To having food, cooking food and sharing food – Enjoy!
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