Caramel is one of my favourite edible colours, after chocolate of course.
In Vietnam we visited a snack factory on our tour of the Mekong River. Here they were making caramel over a fire fuelled by the left-over rice husks, a clever way to re-use waste products.The caramel was cut into squares and packaged.Here is a Malaysian dessert with fried banana, ice cream, peanuts and caramel sauce. In my ‘Food and Wine of the Rhone Valley’ we made Pine Nut Custard Pie with Caramel & Whiskey Sauce for dessert. A pastry dough was prepared along with a custard cream filling that contained the usual suspects (egg yolks, milk, sugar, flour) plus a few more unusual ingredients (lemon zest, orange blossom water). Whisking the caramel topping for dessert, just before adding a splash (or two, or more) of whiskey.Here it is: Pine Nut Custard Pie with Caramel & Whiskey Sauce. You have to visit the my Rhone Cooking page in order to find out the wine pairing for this delectable dessert.Moving from France south to Spain, here is a flan from a ‘menu del día‘ with a burnt sugar caramel topping.Flan is also popular in Argentina, here it is served with dulce de leche and two spoons. The flan has a caramelized top of burnt sugar, the dulce de leche is really gooey and made of caramelized milk.
Another popular treat in Argentina, especially with the merienda (afternoon ‘tea’), is alfajores, con chocolate, galleta y dulce de leche.Empanadas filled with ‘cajeta’, as Mexicans call their caramelized milk. Cajeta in a jar for sale in Mexico, made with goat milk. Some Mexican candies: tamarind fruit roll (dark maroon), occasionally spiked with hot chile powder; guava fruit roll (light brown); and cajeta (goat’s milk caramel) with a fudge-like texture and pecans on top!
Hmmm, we are getting close to Christmas, maybe time to whip up some of these treats….