FOODJAMS Vol. 5: COFFEE CARAMEL

 
 

Coffee + caramel...I can't even believe how good this stuff is. But first...

It's FoodJams Volume 5!  As always, we've (Brandon and I) chosen a food-related song to share, and a recipe to go along with it. This week's pick is:

 
 

Per usual, click the album art above to head on over to Black Porridge to read Brandon's post and listen to the song.

I'm not sure I've ever publicly admitted how much I love coffee. I'm just a hot beverage lover in general, but coffee always takes the cake. It's not even about the caffeine...I'm pretty sure caffeine does nothing for me unless I've had maybe 3 or 4 cups of coffee in a row (this almost never happens, but when it does, I go from zero to 60 pretty quickly and then, if there were such thing as negative speed, crash right back down to -20 within a couple hours). I love coffee because there are so many things you can do with it. It's lovely to drink in all variations, but it's also fun to cook and bake with. Coffee-rubbed meat is a very real, and very delicious thing. Coffee in baked goods...yes. Coffee WITH baked goods....double yes. This is also serving as a reminder that I need to share a recipe for Espresso Muffins with you soon. That said...

I don't think you're ready for this jelly...well, actually, caramel.

 
 

If you've never had it before, coffee caramel is the business. It's a marvelous balance between bitter and sweet, and in this recipe, you have total control over how much coffee flavor you want. It's smooth and creamy, with a little added crunch from the coffee grounds (if you choose to leave them in!) Coffee caramel makes the best ice cream topping, too. I'm a rainbow sprinkles kind of girl, actually, so for me this is a close 2nd place to rainbow sprinkles (and closely followed by marshmallows and mochi), but you catch my drift. Drizzle it over ice cream or cupcakes, add some to your latte, eat it by the spoonful...it's entirely up to you.

 
 

Coffee Caramel

makes about 1 1/4 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cream (I used light cream, which is 18% milk fat, but you could use heavy cream too)
1/2 TB unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 TB fresh coffee grounds
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan or milk warmer, steep coffee grounds with the cream for 15 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat once finished steeping. You can strain the grounds from the cream if you'd like, or you can leave the grounds in to add a little texture to your caramel.
  2. If you want extra intense coffee flavor, this is where you'd want to stir in the espresso powder until dissolved.
  3. Add in the vanilla, too.
  4. Set coffee/cream mixture aside.
  5. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium to medium high heat, swirling occasionally (NOT stirring!), until your sugar/water mixture reach a deep amber color. This could take up to 10-15 minutes (maybe even a little more), but don't walk away -- burnt sugar is no fun to clean out of a pan.
  6. Once your deep amber color is reached, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter and salt, followed by the coffee cream mixture. Stir carefully, but thoroughly, until everything is combined.
  7. Pour your caramel into a heat-proof glass bowl and set on counter to cool. Alternatively, you can pour directly into a mason jar and leave that out (lid off!) to cool to room temp.
  8. Store in an airtight container or mason jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You may need to heat it for a few seconds in the microwave to loosen it up before using.