Chef’s Palette Spice Rubs
So, I should say that I am a bit embarrassed that it took me way too long to post this recipe, especially considering that the request came from a great friend that I had promised I would write it after an event and send it to him. Now that it is the frigid season in most of the world (it's like 62F in Monterey and I do indeed think that a few people may be firing off flares to be rescued in hills above Pebble Beach because they are "freezing to death") and I find myself getting ready to execute this recipe myself I remember, oh yeah, "You suck!”
For those that followed the toffee link: fear not and PLEASE do not waste your failed toffee! I will deliver you to caramel bliss with one word; cream. (I do miss Prince, even if just a little). But seriously; if your toffee fails you can easily turn it into caramel and store it for weeks in the fridge. I have never wasted a toffee fail. That being said - here is the toffee caramel recipe that you can use for Bananas Foster, coffee drinks, caramel fondue, or just sprinkle it with salt and eat it.
2 C Butter, salted
2 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Water
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 C Cream
Extra Sea Salt if desired
Melt the butter on medium in a large sturdy pan with plenty of extra space, 6 to 8-quart size with high sides if you have one. The last step can be a bit dangerous otherwise. Once the butter is mostly melted swirl it up the sides of the pan. Now, pour the sugar into the middle of the butter, avoiding the sides. Dump the water and vanilla into the middle. Leave the heat on medium and gently stir the mixture - I used a heat resistant silicone spatula. Take your time here and ensure that the sugar fully dissolves, this will take at least 5 minutes. I used a candy thermometer this entire time and once the mixture was fully incorporated I let the heat start to rise to the "Confection Zone" (Highway tooooo theeee Confection Zone!) and set a timer for 5 minutes. I kept it between 240F and 250F the entire time and afterwards increased my heat to just under medium high.
You can get the thermometer out of your way if you like at the end of that five-minute period but continue to stir, just to keep the bottom clear. DO NOT stir vigorously, too much air will cool it, and screw it up. In five minutes or so, you will notice that as you stir up the bottom it is starting to darken and you can start to smell the toffee and butterscotch notes. Little wisps of smoke will appear and that signals that should have your heavy cream at the ready and grab your whisk. Let the caramel get dark brown, then add half of the cream. Keeps your hands back for a moment! The steam is intense and will burn you! As soon as the plume dissipates start whisking in the other half still being mindful of not burning yourself if the steam is too much at first. The mixture should come together, but if it doesn’t, don’t worry. Medium high heat and more whisking will smooth out any caramel chunks eventually. If need be, you can add more cream to bring it together (this happened once to me, probably a temperature thing – I am not a confectioner!)
So yeah, that’s it. Drizzle it on apple crisp a la mode, mix into spiced apple cider with brandy or apple vodka, or just eat it with a spoon and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt. Cheers!