August 8, 2011

Irish (Tennessee) Coffee Caramel Sauce

 I was watching food network the other day and the Barefoot Contessa was making caramel sauce for ice cream sundaes. It automatically triggered this odd habit I have. If I see a food that looks good and I have never made it myself I have to try to whip it up on my own. But plain ol' caramel sauce was not going to do it for me. I had to make this one my own. So the thoughts started going through my head of how to flavor this caramel sauce. Looking through recipes I saw whiskey flavored caramels and coffee flavored caramels so I figured why not combine the 2 and make an Irish Coffee caramel sauce?! And so, this wonderful creation was born. It is actually a Tennessee Coffee Caramel sauce (I was out of Irish Whiskey) but I think any whiskey will work.


1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

6 Tablespoons whiskey (I used Jack Daniels)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 packet Starbucks Via Irish Roast Instant Coffee
(any instant coffee should work)

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Some recipes say to stir. Some say you will screw everything up if you stir. I went with a 'swirl the pan' method and it seemed to work fine. There are also recipes out there that say to brush the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush in order to prevent the sugar from crystallizing on the sides. I tried this once and it seemed impossible to do. I gave up on that theory, and again, everything turned out fine.

Sugar water beginning to boil
While the sugar water is coming to a boil combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir to dissolve the coffee.

Continue 'swirling' the sugar over medium-high hear until it starts to caramelize. Be VERY careful! This stuff is HOT!

Sugar water caramelizing

Once you get a nice caramel cover turn off the burner and remove the pan from the heat. CAREFULLY pour in the coffee mixture. I would suggest using an oven mitt to hold the measuring cup (or whatever your coffee mixture is in). When you pour the coffee mixture into the sugar water mixture it steams and boils up rapidly and you could get burned. Stir the mixture together as best as you can. You may get a few lumps in there at this point but don't worry. Just mix it the best you can.

It turns really dark at this point because of the coffee

Put the saucepan back on the warm burner (don't turn it on) and stir until any lumps dissolve. You should end up with something like this.

Pour the sauce into a mason jar and let cool (until just warm).

Serve over anything you want! Or just eat it off the spoon. I won't judge. 
It is super sweet so a little goes a long way!

Irish Coffee Caramel Brownie Sundae

Recipe adapted from

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