Micah: Unmitigated

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Archive for February, 2010

Sweet Emotions

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

While cooking a few brats this past weekend (in beer and brown sugar), I built up a desire to make beer flavored caramel. I attempted my first batch Wednesday night after dreams of all the fame and fortune my multinational conglomerate, Beer Caramel Inc. (patent pending), would provide.  I did a few internet searches for recipes but followed them loosely. Here are the results:

some ingredients

some ingredients

I began by boiling down a bottle of Black Butte Porter, for about 10 minutes. Then added 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. I let that boil for an unknown amount of time before adding 1/2 cup of half & half, a dash of corn syrup, and a pinch of vanilla.

boil

boil

Now, it is at this point that I feel I made a crucial mistake. Without a candy thermometer, I was unaware when my mixture reached it’s perfect temp. Thus, I believe my creation burned.

When the stuff’s consistency was adequate, it was poured into a wax paper lined bowl, and shoved in the fridge.

pre-fridge

pre-fridge

The next day it was not the prettiest of sights, but was edible.

post-fridge

post-fridge

I then attempted to roll it in plastic wrap and freeze it, but so far that was another mistake. I’m not quite ready to declare the whole thing a complete failure, I haven’t used it as an ice cream topping yet. In hindsight, I believe my goal all along should have been Beer flavored toffee, much like Werther’s Originals.

One thing I do know, the greats never quit and give up on their dreams. Did Betty Crocker give up when she burned her first bunt cake? Did Chef Boyardee give up when his first batch of soccer ball shaped pasta looked like basketballs? Not a chance. So am I going to hang up my apron, just because I ruined one little batch of caramel? …. Probably.