Photo Guide: Salted Caramel Sauce, Version I

I usually hate contrasting flavors. I mean seriously. Just why would you do that. I don’t mind it when basil and oregano are used to compliment tomato sauce and when horseradish is used to compliment roast beef but I can’t handle strong contrasting flavors

But of course my friends would decide to bring me salted caramel cupcakes from Sprinkles half way through freshman year. I didn’t like the sound of it. Salted. Caramel. But I didn’t want to seem weird, the girls were all raving about the thing, I couldn’t turn it down. Eager to fit in, I took a bite and I’ve been in love ever since.


Ok so maybe I didn’t fall in love with it; this isn’t a Romance Comedy with a twisted plot. But, I did have a better appreciation for sweet and salty things. I’ve been experimenting with salted coffee, salted chocolate and other salted sweets. I’m taking baby steps.



I call this a version 1 recipe because there are so many different ways of making caramel sauce, each with different results. It originated when I tried making salted caramel popcorn macarons from Annie’s Eats. The macarons didn’t necessarily end well – that was my fault. In the near future I’ll be testing other caramel sauces, I’ll report my results back soon, maybe in a cupcake?

You want to stop burning the sugar when it reaches the top right, not the bottom right.

Usually when you make candy, you need a thermometer to check the temperature. I’ve been able to reproduce consistent results without the use of a thermometer. I even messed up the recipe purposely by burning the sugar pass golden. Nothing bad happens, I ended up with a bowl of delicious caramel candy. It was a nice treat while I was baking.

don’t let it get this dark….

I personally recommend doubling this recipe if you’re making it – I have a few recipes that utilize this caramel sauce coming your way soon!

Salted Caramel Sauce I

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the sugar begins to melt and turn golden at the edges.  Continue cooking, swirling the pan to cover evenly, until the sugar turns golden amber.
  2. Standing back, carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly until combined.  If there are pieces of sugar, cook on low heat until smooth. Stir in the sea salt.  Transfer the caramel to a bowl and let cool.  It will thicken as it cools.

 

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Baked Avocado Fries

Summer is supposed to be coming to an end. Supposed to be. If theres one thing you should know about me is that I love the winter. I love the winter because I consider anything above a 75 to be hot. I love it when its 65 degrees out. It’s like heaven. So you can only imagine how I feel when La Jolla is in its high 80s… especially after it was able to maintain most of summer in the high 70s.

Most people wouldn’t deep fry anything in this summer heat. It’s the time for grills, barbecues, and bonfires right? Wrong! When cravings strike, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Well I never expected to crave avocado fries in the middle of this heat. I never expected to crave fries in summer in general. But of course, an avocado craving strikes. I tried taming my tastebuds by cutting open an avocado and eating it with some sea salt and a spoon. I thought that would tame my tastebuds but it didn’t. I guess it didn’t help that avocados went on sale at my local market… I couldn’t help myself.

I remember having this recipe tabbed. I was a little scared at first, but went with it anyways. All I can say is – I’m glad I did. The resulting avocado is very buttery and mellow in flavor – I recommend serving it with a flavorful aioli or (follow along me) some hummus.

Baked Avocado Fries

Adapted from Baked In

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe (but not overripe) avocados
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, substitute with regular if you must
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the sheet. Set aside.
  2. Cut each avocado in half and remove the pit. I removed the pit by hitting the bit with the sharp side of my chef’s knife and twisting gently. The pit should come right out, attached to the blade.
  3. Prepare three bowls. In the first bowl, place the 1/2 cup of flour and add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. In the second bowl, crack the eggs and beat lightly. In another last bowl, combine the panko and melted butter and combined. Then, add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Dredge each avocado slice through the flour, and then the beaten egg. Coat thoroughly with the panko and place on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining slices. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Alternatively place the avocado fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until panko is lightly browned. Cool for about ten minutes and serve with dipping sauce of choice.