Updated: Apr 14, 2021
First, we are excited to announce we have a new addition to the CHOP kitchen! Chef Julie Thigpen has joined us as an assistant Chef and will be stepping in to help in numerous ways as we continue to grow. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from decades in the food business both in the U.S. and overseas. This addition comes at a great time as we enter the busy holiday season. Chef Julie already has some wonderful treats planned for our upcoming Thanksgiving menu as well as our Holiday bazaar which will be held in late December. Our CSA customers will get a sneak peek at some of her handiwork this week as she spearheaded the production of this week’s Project CHOP addition to their share bags Farmer Robbie had his first crop of ripe passion fruit from the garden (they had gotten so heavy they crashed the trellis they were growing on to the ground!) which we have taken and made a decadent passion fruit caramel sauce. Normally, we are pretty focused on turning our amazing garden and other local produce into delicious, healthy meals for all of our customers at our Saturday Café, Family Meal delivery, and CSA. But sometimes, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, it's ok to indulge a little! So, this week I’m going to share with you a super simple recipe for homemade caramel sauce which you can flavor a million different ways and really have some fun with. All it takes is literally 2 ingredients (ok, 3 if you like to add a pinch of salt!) plus any sort of flavoring ingredient you’d like to add. Once made, it’ll keep for weeks in the fridge or months in the freezer and is perfect for drizzling over a little ice cream, cake, fruit, yogurt, old shoes… it's basically good on everything!
Simple Caramel Sauce 1 Cup Sugar ½ Cup Heavy Cream ½ teaspoon Salt – Optional
Using a medium sized pot with high sides, add the sugar. Make sure the pot is very clean inside as any particles can cause the sugar to crystallize.
Add just enough water so the sugar looks like wet sand. Make sure the sugar is evenly wetted and that no large chunks of dry sugar remain
Place over a medium high flame
As the sugar begins to boil avoid stirring as this can cause it to crystallize.
Continue to boil until the sugar begins to brown and caramelize. Again, avoid stirring. Often the sugar will begin to brown at the edges of the pot first. Simply swirl the pot gently to even out the browning.
Boil until the sugar has turned a deep golden brown (you can control how dark you like your caramel at this point but I like mine pretty dark!) Have your cream ready.
Once the caramel has reached your desired color whisk in the heavy cream all at once. WARNING! At this point the caramel is very hot and will spit and sputter as you add the cream. Its important to use a high sided pot with plenty of space for the caramel to boil.
Add the optional salt and continue to whisk until the caramel is smooth. Allow to cool in the pot at least 15 minutes.
Note: The recipe can easily be multiplied, just use a 2 to 1 sugar to cream ratio. After the cream is added you can also flavor the caramel with whatever you like such as a little vanilla, citrus zest, fruit juice, chopped herbs, etc… You can also adjust the thickness of the caramel by adding a little less or more cream to your liking. Finally, caramel can be a pain to clean out of the pot so I suggest simply boiling a little water and dissolving any caramel that’s stuck in the pot!