Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Miso Caramel

During a recent episode of Chopped, the competitors' dessert baskets included a tub of white miso. Both chefs made some sort of miso caramel sauce, which was also the first thing that came to my mind. Why? Well, salted caramel has been the Big Thing for quite a while now, and miso is definitely salty. Why not take a very basic caramel recipe and substitute miso for butter?  I tried it, and it worked like a charm. The sauce was sweet and salty, but didn't taste miso-y in the least.

For those of you afraid of making caramel for some reason, don't be! Homemade caramel is easy-peasy, but you do have to keep a couple things in mind.

1) Once the sugar is melted and bubbling, DO NOT STIR. It'll do its thing all on its own.
2) PAY ATTENTION. Don't make a phone call, read the paper, or do anything other than stand near the stove, keeping an eye on the pot.
2) Melted sugar is HOT. Be careful not to get any on yourself.

Miso Caramel Sauce

3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons yellow or white miso

In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and water. Without additional stirring, bring mixture to a boil. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan. When sugar becomes a deep golden brown and wisps of smoke just start to form, remove pan from heat.

Check out the photo below...see how the edges are getting dark but the center sugar is still light in color? It's going to start smoking any second now, so be prepared to take it off the heat before the caramel burns.

Once off the heat, carefully pour in the cream, which will cause the caramel to bubble. Stir to combine. If the caramel seizes up and hardens with the addition of the cold cream, then put the pan back over low heat and stir until the caramel is liquid again. Whisk in the miso. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into a lidded container. Store in the refrigerator.

Remelt the sauce by putting some in a ramekin and microwaving it on high for 30 second intervals until hot and liquid-y. Serve over ice cream, pound cake, or just eat it cold out of the jar with a spoon. Makes one pint.

Posted on Minxeats.com.