04 June 2013

Rice Pudding & My First Caramel Sauce

I have been thinking about starting a food blog for quite some time. Years, actually. To be a bit more specific, I like to bake. It's actually what I do for a living -- in a production dominated setting with not a lot of play time. But I'm already the author of quite a few blogs, and have simply thought I didn't have the time.

I apparently have issues with consistently writing about my personal genealogy (which has been well documented in this space). So recently I had the idea of sprinkling a bit of sugar here as a way to test the waters. I hope those of you that follow me now will continue to do so. I'm not abandoning my genealogy or love of cemeteries in the least. I'm just adding a touch of sweetness to my every day, and sharing it with you.

So, to get started, I simply walked into my pantry and opened up the first cookbook I saw. My guy really enjoys cooking the savory, so the book on top was one of his faves: Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban. To be truthful, I didn't expect to find much. Their dessert section is a bit small, but I adore rice pudding (without raisins) so that was an easy pick. A couple of pages later was a caramel sauce recipe (which I have never made unless you count unwrapping the candies and melting them), so I knew I had found my first endeavor. This is a Cuban cookbook, so it's officially called Arroz con Leche and Dulce de Leche Salsa.

Here we go!

Rice Pudding ingredients (pg. 198):
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemon rind (I omitted this)
1 cinnamon stick
5 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup white cane sugar (I used regular granulated)
ground cinnamon (I didn't use since I was making the caramel sauce)

I cooked the rice and water with the cinnamon stick for about 15 minutes. The directions suggest you skim off any excess water, but I had very little (as I believe is the correct result). They also say to remove the cinnamon stick, but I did not. Left it in for the entire cooking time.

I next added the milk, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar to the rice. The directions say to cook it uncovered over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. It's probably my stove, but it took waaay longer than that for me. I eventually turned it up to get it going, then turned it down when it showed signs of thickening. Be sure to stir it often so there's no burning.

Almost done!

On to the caramel sauce!

Ingredients (pg. 203):
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
8 tbsp. butter
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Since I had never truly made caramel sauce before, I followed the recipe to a T. There was a whole lot of boiling and stirring -- my arm got quite tired -- but I will never take the short cut on caramel sauce again. I promise you, it's that good.

My warped whisk worked just fine!

I did take the advice of the Three Guys and put the cooled caramel sauce in a glass container so it will be easy to microwave. This stuff is yu-um -- I know I ate far too much of it alone with a spoon. BTW, it was good with the rice pudding, too! :-)

I didn't have any cute, dainty bowls handy -- my
Peacock Fiestaware had to do!

Have a sweet day!

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