Never miss an opportunity to WOW! people with dessert — it is the last course, and should be memorable! Make it beautiful with a sauce … or TWO! Dessert sauces needn’t be difficult – some are astonishingly simple. And plating with a sauce is fun, and easy, and did I mention FUN?
For the recent Battle of the Chefs competition, I needed to plate my Curried Guinness Pickle Ice Cream with sauces for a knock-their-socks-OFF!! presentation. I already had Dulce de Leche sauce in my box of all things totally delicious, so spiked that with a little Irish whiskey. But I needed an additional sauce, so I decided to use up the balance of my Guinness reduction (most of it went into the ice cream) and create a sweet-bitter Guinness caramel sauce. After saucing, plating, and drizzling with additional sauce, I sprinkled the ice cream lightly with gorgeous Cyprus Flake Salt. Check out the finished product and recipe below!
for the guinness reduction:
11.5 ounce bottle of Guinness
Pour the Guinness into a medium sized skillet. Place over high heat until the finished volume is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store refrigerated.
- One 11.5 ounce bottle of Guinness, reduced as outlined above
- ½ cup sugar (I used dark brown)
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Irish Whiskey (optional) Oh Yea, like you’re going to leave that out!
Stir together the reduced Guinness and sugar over medium heat, until a layer of bubbles forms over the entire surface. Stir in the cream, butter and salt. Bring back to a boil. Taste and add more salt or sugar if necessary — BE CAREFUL, the mixture is HOT!!! Allow to cool and then spike with the Irish Whiskey. Store refrigerated. Makes about 1 cup sauce.
dulce de leche
(Astonishingly Simple Caramel Sauce)
- one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, rum or other liqueur (I like Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon, but I used Irish Whiskey for the Guinness ice cream)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a 3 to 4 cup ovenproof dish with a lid. Cover tightly. Bake at 300°F for 30 to 45 minutes, until it is dark golden caramel color. Remove from oven, allow to stand until cool enough to handle. It will look curdled, do not be alarmed.
Scrape mixture into blender. Add about 3 tablespoons of the cream and the teaspoon of vanilla extract, rum or liqueur; process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar. Season with salt, combine well.
Store cooled caramel in a “squeezer” bottle in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to soften before use. The caramel will keep for 2 months.