Salted Caramel Sauce

Oh My!  There is no way in hell that this is good for you but it is awesomely delicious.  The recipe comes from Delicious Magazine, March 2012.  It is a Nigella Lawson recipe and it has all the hallmarks of her.  It is luscious, silky, smooth and a little bit of elegant fun.  It takes about 5 minutes to make and is soooo worth it.  I recommend eating the leftovers for breakfast.  I had a thought after making it that it would make a lovely tart filling if it was slightly thicker.  Something to work on there.

75g salted butter, 50g brown sugar (I didn’t have any so used palm sugar), 50g golden syrup, 1/2 a cup of thickened cream – normal cream if you live in NZ, 1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes.  Vanilla ice cream to serve and I used bananas too.

Melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a small, heavy-based pot over a medium low heat and simmer.  Swirl the pan occasionally for three minutes. The sauce should turn from gold to dark amber as it cooks – Keep an eagle eye on it, do not allow it to burn.  Carefully add the cream – take it off the heat for a minute or so to do this, add the salt and swirl again.

Give it a stir with a wooden spoon and taste to see if you ant more salt (I did), then cook for a further 1 minute.  Pour into a jug and serve with ice-cream.  Apologies for the terrible photo!

Salted Caramel Sauce with ice cream and bananas.

Lemon Curd – golden goodness

Lemon Curd is one of the most delicious and useful things you can make, not only that but the sense of satisfaction you get when you make this yummy stuff is huge.

Use it in a pavlova, in the centre of muffins, in cupcakes, on toast and on pancakes, actually just slather it on anything you find or stick a teaspoon in the jar and suck the curd off (repeat often).

I made Annabel Langbein’s recipe from her book Assemble.  It is a great book, she has a system, she gives you a basic recipe and then she gives you variations on the theme.  It works really well.  I bought this book for Lesley for Christmas but it is currently having a small holiday at my place.  I promise to return it, but I keep finding new things I want to make in it, so it might be a while yet.  It is a brilliant book, I really recommend it.  Here is her recipe:

1.5 cups caster sugar, 220g butter, 300 ml lemon juice (about 6 juicy lemons – it took more for me) strained, zest from one of the lemons, 6 eggs, lightly beaten with a whisk.

Place sugar, butter, lemon juice and zest in a pot (use a double boiler if you don’t have a thermometer).  Heat over medium – low heat until butter has melted.  Take off heat and strain eggs into the mixture.  Reurn to heat with a thermometer attached and cook, stirring constantly, until temp reaches 75 degrees C.  Or cook in a double boiler until mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon.  REMOVE from heat immediately and stir a little to prevent mixture overheating on base.  Bottle while hot in hot, steralized jars and seal with pop-top seals or store in a sealed container in the fridge.  Makes just over 1 litre.  (In my case enough for two decent sized jars.)  Storage:  Lemon curd will keep several weeks in the fridge.

She also suggests you make a Lemon Parfait.  2 cups chilled cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup lemon curd, chilled, 4 meringues, roughly crushed and garnished with 1/4 cup coconut threads.  Whip the cream with the vanilla, fold in lemon curd and meringues so mixture retains some swirls of the lemon curd.  Spoon into serving bowls and chill until ready to serve, garnish with the coconut.