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Kitchen Diaries: Guinness Ice Cream Float With Whiskey Caramel

March 18, 2014

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Hope you all had a nice St. Patrick’s Day (and aren’t dealing with hangovers)! In honor of this country’s favorite drinking holiday and per the boo-ski’s request, I decided to try Cupcake Rehab‘s recipe for Guinness Ice Cream Floats with Whiskey Caramel. I’m not the hugest fan of Guinness, but the ice cream definitely softens the punch and the whiskey caramel is so good I found myself eating it alone, by the spoonful. Here’s what I did to make it.

Ingredients:
Vanilla ice cream
Guinness Irish stout
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
3 tablespoons Irish whiskey or bourbon

I started by making the whiskey caramel first. In one quart saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (I used about a third a cup of granulated sugar and the rest brown sugar because I ran out) and the water over medium-high heat until bubbles form and mixture is simmering. Occasionally lift the saucepan from the heat and gently swirl mixture (DO NOT STIR) while sugar is heating. In about 10 minutes, sugar will start to caramelize. Simmer until mixture is a rich, dark amber color. Reduce heat to low. Stir in whipping cream with whisk until mixture is blended and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat; pour sauce into heatproof jar or bowl. Stir in vanilla and tablespoons whiskey (I used my tried and true: Jameson). Refrigerate until serving time (the sauce will thicken as it cools).

Then I placed two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a glass, then poured a bit of Guinness and topped it with two more scoops of ice cream. My last step was to drizzle on the whiskey caramel.

Lessons learned: As you can see, the whiskey caramel was a wee bit runny. Next time I’ll make sure I have plenty of granulated sugar on hand and maybe throw the jar of whiskey caramel into the freezer to make it thicken faster.

Kitchen Diaries: Pumpkin Applesauce

November 18, 2013

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I’m finally warming up to autumn and all its chilly glory, so I thought I’d incorporate some fall-feeling food into my repertoire. Look no further than this pumpkin applesauce. It’s cinnammony and delicious, and makes a good pick-me-up snack served warm or chilled. Move over, Mott’s!


Ingredients:

4 apples, chopped & peeled (any variety, but softer ones do work best)
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick

Peel the apples and slice them into small cubes. Simmer the apples along with the rest of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir occasionally, and let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Mash the mixture with a fork to remove any chunks that are too big. Remove cinnamon stick. If you’re serving immediately, let it cool slightly. If not, add the sauce to clean jars while hot and store in the refrigerator once cooled.

This recipe yields about 29 ounces of applesauce, and I easily doubled it for this particular batch.

Variations: Out of convenience, I just used a little more than half of a can of Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin, as opposed to organic canned pumpkin, and I don’t think the recipe suffered any because of it. Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is pretty delightful as is. However, I wonder what it taste like to add half granulated sugar and half brown sugar. I didn’t want to compromise the recipe my first go-round, so I only added a sprinkle of brown sugar. This time I used Gala apples, but as a fan of the tangy tartness of Granny Smiths, I may try a mixture of apple varieties in the future. I’m also thinking of substituting sweet potatoes for pumpkin. Oooh, and in the summer I’d consider adding tropical fruit like mango and/or papaya for a cool sweet treat. So many possibilities!

Special thanks to Cupcake Rehab, where I found this recipe.