Caramel is a hot choice for toppings

It’s caramel week here at the great Wise bake off. Just kidding. There’s no bake off here, just one baker who has really been enjoying the Great British Bake-Off.

Anyone else out there who can relate?

It’s a beautiful culmination of some of my very favorite areas of interest; baking, of course, followed by some British accents, and all the while learning about different cultures.

To be perfectly candid, I don’t even feel qualified to write about my simple American recipes after watching this show, although I do most definitely feel inspired to take some bigger risks in the kitchen.

The recipe that I am sharing with you this week is one that was a step-out recipe for me.

Up until the time I tried this recipe some nine years ago, I had only baked cookies, cakes, and crisps completely from scratch.

Never stepping out into sauces and the like.

Sure, there were other things I made from scratch, such as frostings and different glazes, and especially when it came to cooking, but the idea of using corn syrup terrified me for some reason.

So much so, that I completely omitted it from the first few attempts of making this delectable dessert topping.

These days, I’m making my own corn syrup to use in recipes, no fear involved. Although, now that I know the truth behind how simple some of these recipes are, it means little that I have done this.

There are a great deal of recipes that seem overwhelmingly complicated the first few times of making them, but it’s just the newness of it all, and nothing more than that.

Once you have made them a couple of times, you realize just how simple they are after all, and many of these recipes help to broaden your understanding of just how and why other recipes work.

This is a recipe that I had admittedly set aside during the time that we had 2-year olds around the house, as it went on top of my favorite Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake.

That particular cheesecake, although it had become a Thanksgiving tradition for me, was a bit temperamental and required much more supervision than I had to give during the young toddler years in our house.

Bittersweet as it may be, our kids are now surpassing that age where they require constant interaction.

When I started this column, our firstborn was 2 years old, and our second born was a newborn. Today, that first born is within the final countdown to his eighth birthday, to be celebrated this week, number two is a five-year old, and our youngest is three years old.

It’s simply amazing just how quickly life can go by when you’re busy living it.

To sum it up, much has changed.

Nowadays, I can count on those three hooligans to (mostly) peacefully entertain themselves whilst mommy gets some stuff done, and there are also times, when they are right alongside me, helping me accomplish said stuff.

This recipe was actually requested while watching our new favorite show as a family, as we watched the British bakers make various recipes for caramel week.

Our kids, watching that caramel drizzle with wide eyes, requested that a similar recipe grace our kitchen, and my husband and I soon remembered just how long it had been since I had made that cheesecake with the caramel sauce on top.

Being just a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, it seemed only appropriate that I pick that mantle back up, so to speak.

So here we are.

As always, thank you for reading, and while I would normally say happy baking, today I wish for you to pick up some of those skills that you laid aside, and polish them off. Here’s to improving upon ourselves, before the new year even starts!

INGREDIENTS

¢ C heavy whipping cream

¢ C butter, 1 stick

3/4 C packed, dark brown sugar

2 TBSP. light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cut the butter into tablespoon measurements to help melting process. You can use either salted butter, or unsalted. The salted butter will add a richer element to the caramel, much like the syrup found in a salted caramel latte.

Using a medium heavy saucepan, stir together the cream, butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium, and gently boil for 3 minutes, continue whisking.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a jar and let cool. A mason jar works perfectly for this!

Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Allow to stand at room temperature before serving or reheat for hot caramel sauce.

Makes a perfect addition to cakes, pie, cheesecake, apple crisp and ice cream.

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.

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