Tonka Bean Salted Caramel
I'm afraid you can tell when you watch the video, just how much I enjoyed this sauce. Unfortunately for me I made it during the covid lockdown and once tasted, there is no saving it for weeks. It was gone in a day or so. It is THAT good. Chins can attest to that.
Tonka beans are a unique little thing. If you have never tasted them you are missing out on something quite different. It is said they are a cross between vanilla and cinnamon in flavour but I don't taste that, I find the flavour completely its own. There are different notes depending on where you sourced them, how good your palate is and what you are wearing that day! (Kidding, but not really as you really will taste different things on different days based on what else you may have eaten earlier.)
They are actually a legume and taste so good they have been declared illegal in the USA. (Eye roll!) This is to do with the levels of toxicity that are found in the tonka bean when you over eat them. Now to be clear, you would need to eat literally 30-40 tonka beans to have any kind of reaction, (You could have flown around the world for the same price as that, back pre-covid!!) when one tonka bean is enough for 80 dessert plates if used shaved. In this recipe we have gone with infusing the cream with tonka bean, the solids can be strained out and discarded though we did not do so.
Let me also remind you that nutmeg in massive quantities is also toxic to humans. As are most spices in fact. We just tend not to over indulge in nutmeg to that extent, the same should be true for tonka beans. So don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Go get your single expensive tonka bean and enjoy!
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- 100 Grams cream
- 1/2 tonka bean
- 200 Grams white caster sugar
- 100 Grams Butter BUY
- 1-2 Pinches Smoked Sea Salt (Maldon) or to taste BUY
- Dash of whisky, rum or brandy
Place the cream into a bowl and using a microplane, finely grate the tonka bean into the bowl. Warm slightly (say 30 seconds) in the microwave. Cover and leave at room temperature for an hour before refrigerating overnight.
When you are ready to make the caramel, remove cream from the fridge and add the butter to the bowl. Either let it come to room temperature or help it again with another 30 second burst in the microwave.
Place the sugar into a light coloured dry frying pan on a medium heat, tossing occasionally until it eventually liquefies and becomes a deep amber colour. Use a silicone spatula to get all the sugar combined.
Stand back as you add the cream and butter a little bit at a time, whilst stirring vigorously. It will sputter a little bit. Keep stirring and adding until it has all emulsified.
Add the alcohol if using and stir to combine. Cook down a little until looking quite creamy and thickened. Let some cool off and taste and adjust salt. Store in an sterilised jar in the fridge until use.
I love this stirred through hot milk, about 1 heaped tsp per cup. SO good!
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