Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Iced Coffee Caramel Float

Though the light golden syrup I recently made for a Carmelised Blackberry Sundae was good, I found myself pining for as potent a rush of caramelness as possible. I happened upon such a holy grail a few days ago when I made Salted Caramel Sauce.  It has a deluge of cream. It has mountains of butter. It has a beach of sugar.  All of these good things come together in an aurous, glossy, divine dessert sauce which takes only twenty minutes to make.  If that was not enough, the salt heightens the lusciousness of those ingredients to the point where all spoons and ladles need to be kept under lock and key...and fingers tied behind backs. 

During les beaux jours, one of the first things I do is make up a couple of quarts of iced coffee each morning.  Keeping them in the sous sol fridge allows my staggering in from the garden for a long cooling drink. Why not, I mused, while splashing cold water on my face before I keeled over from heat prostration, depriving the potager of a mommy, combine caramel and iced coffee to make an ice cream float?  That's exactly what I did, and this float is one tall glass of cool.

First you make the caramel sauce. For around two cups of sauce you will need two cups of granulated sugar, one cup of heavy cream, twelve tablespoons of sweet butter, and one tablespoon of fleur de sel.

Cut the butter up into small chunks

Put the sugar in a big, heavy-bottomed pot to accommodate the furious bubbling up when the butter and cream is added to the melted sugar. Whisk the sugar over medium-high heat.

Keep whisking as lumps are formed which takes about five minutes.

About ten minutes later it will start to melt.  When it is completely melted stop whisking as such motion could cause the liquid to seize. Swirl the pot instead of stirring. This is the crucial time when the sauce could become burnt. On my stove, that time came almost immediately after all the sugar melted.  The sauce becomes a deep golden colour and smells toasty. If using a candy thermometer, look for a registration of 350 degrees F.

The colour you are looking for is the darker area surrounding the whisk

Add all the butter at once and resume whisking.

Keep whisking until all the butter is completely melted, most of the bubbles are gone, and the sauce is smooth which should take a minute or two.

Remove the pot from the heat and slowly add the cream while whisking.

Lastly, whisk in the fleur de sel, making sure you blend the salt completely. A test stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure that no salt granules are lurking along the bottom of the pot is a good idea.

Let cool about fifteen minutes before pouring in a suitable container.

Keep covered in the fridge where it will last for about two weeks. When very cold, it will be quite firm which works well as a spread.

For the float, you will need ice cream (I used vanilla), some fluid caramel sauce, and iced coffee made with cream and caramel sauce.

When making the hot coffee, ensure that it is quite strong and beat/whisk in a tablespoon of heavy cream and a tablespoon or two of the sauce (if using firm sauce, it will melt) for each glass.  Put in fridge until very cold. To assemble the float, put a thin layer of sauce (warm it slightly to make it more fluid and drinkable) on the bottom of a tall glass and follow with a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream.

Pour iced coffee almost to the rim.  The ice cream will float to the top.  You can add a bit more of ice cream and then dribble on some more fluid sauce. Stick in a straw and keep a spoon handy! Keep in mind if you touch the bottom of glass with the straw, you will get a nice draught of caramel.

It's silly to suggest ways of using this fantastic sauce because its flexibility will trigger your creativity, but so far we have used it as a spread on scones.

And lavished it on crepes.

In the potager, there are delicious fruits and veggies to harvest each and every day.

Basil, beefsteak tomato, bay leaf, cucumber, ever-bearing strawberries, and plum

In the flower garden, zinnias are blooming.

The Lobularia Maritima I sowed several months ago in various cement cracks is blooming nicely.

As for Mr. Furry Pants, better known as Dayo, he has been remiss in showing up for photo shoots--he is either staying out all day and night out of sight or he is hiding under furniture because he remains shy of our house guests. So no photos of him for this week, I am afraid.

No Dayo to be seen!

À la prochaine!