Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Whisky: is there anything it CAN'T do?

So I forgot to mention it here on the blog, but Burns' Night (the birthday of Scottish cultural icon, poet laureate and hero Robert Burns) was a couple weeks ago and Leah and I celebrated it by enjoying a wee dram from each of the four bottles of Scotch I currently own. Sticking with the theme, I also decided to make a hot toffee sauce with Scotch to serve on top of vanilla ice cream for dessert. It came out so well that I figured I would post the recipe here (which I adapted from this recipe I found at gourmetsleuth.com):

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup half and half
3 tablespoons Scotch whisky
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine the brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, about 5-6 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a full boil.

Slide the pan from the heat, add the half and half, Scotch, and salt, and whisk until well blended. Give the sauce a taste and add a pinch or two more of salt, if needed. If you're serving immediately, add vanilla. If you're preparing to use later, add vanilla after reheating.

Refrigerate whatever you have left over. To serve leftovers, reheat gently in a double boiler or in the microwave. The original recipe warns, "Do not overheat, or the sauce will separate," but we haven't run into that problem.

So anyway, there you go... an absolutely delicious recipe for when you can't decide between a cocktail or dessert--and if you're into the whole presentation thing you can serve it in a martini glass like I did above. Leah thinks it's gotten better each time we used it (I think we got four servings out of it). And, for the record, I'm guessing that you could substitute bourbon or some other kind of whiskey for Scotch and it would still be delicious.


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