Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Huckleberry Cafe: Salted Caramel Bar

After reading about Huckleberry Cafe's Salted Caramel Bar, I absolutely knew this was a must on my Restro to try list.

Caramel has always been a finicky lover...

My first experience making the oooey gooey topping was with my crepe expert best friend from high school, who's sweet tooth rivaled Lamar Odom.  She lovingly measured out the ingredients, and very slowly and carefully mixed the mixture to perfection.  It was smooth, rich, and soft.  The blissful topping to the mound of vanilla bean ice cream she'd dolled out on top of her nutella & strawberry crepes.

The second time I felt more like Wonka.  My mixture bubbled and popped.  It rose and fell.  It was alive with expectation.  I am a slightly more haphazard chef, I think it comes with my experimental nature.  I want to feel the ingredients, and understand how they combine and work by constantly tweeking and changing the amounts I use in baking.  It sometimes works brilliantly.  Other times, a total failure.  This time it was madness.  After mixing and mixing, I ended up with a thick candy caramel, much more apropos for a candied apple instead of a dessert topping.  It appeased the glassy-eyed & starving roommates none-the-less.

But I knew I had to try again.  I wanted my caramel to sing!  This time I was sure I'd get it right.  I simmered down the heat, I patiently waited for the flavors to combine, and eventually I ended up with a nice, smooth & creamy caramel which I laid out in the fridge to harden.

But it being college and all, what would naturally happen?  A box of wine exploding in the fridge and absorbing into the caramel?  Of course.

So I remixed, melted & made wine-caramel-chocolate covered popcorn instead, which was absolutely a hit.

I realized. what I really needed was a candy thermometer, but being on a college budget, I couldn't rationalize it.  (Of course what I was too slow to figure out is that the thermometer cost less than a drink at Avalon.)  So I put my caramel making dreams on hold...

Until the Caramel Steak Experiment.

And now my Caramel appetite has been whetted yet again.  So Huckleberry Cafe, thank you so much for your incredible salted caramel bar.  As well as the instructions on the wall of the restroom.

I can't wait to try this myself!

Once I figure out what Plugra is.

HUCKLEBERRY CAFE
1014 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-2311
www.huckleberrycafe.com 

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