What I really wanted was to mix a cocktail drink but I ended up making hot chocolate with salted caramel instead. How that happened is quite a story.
As I was surfing, I came across this article about Nigella Lawson, my eyes were wide with shock at the photo and wondered why it was obviously cropped. Was the uncropped version even more stomach-turning (sorry but I didn’t find anything sexy in it)?
It’s not like the idea of using food to create erotic imagery for advertising is new to this generation of celebrity chefs and food personalities. Wasn’t it Giada de Laurentiis who first did it with canned tomatoes? Then, there was Padma Lakshmi for a Carl’s Jr. TV ad.
Nigella Lawson reportedly said that there’s no intention to sexualize food in that photo of her face dripping in salted caramel, I don’t really care whether she’s telling the truth or not. I may dislike her style of writing but her cooking shows were a good source of ideas for recipes. Until we switched satellite TV provider earlier this year and lost the Travel & Living Channel, I watched her TV shows for many years and sexualizing the act of eating seems to be something that comes naturally to her. She did it well in her shows, nothing exaggerated and nothing slutty, just suggestively naughty, but I do think that she went overboard with the salted caramel photo.
I’ve been a fan of salted caramel since the day I made budino and Nigella’s idea of stirring a few tablespoonfuls of the gooey sauce into a mug of hot chocolate made sense to me. So, instead of mixing a cocktail drink, I made hot chocolate with salted caramel. And it was wickedly delicious.
Below is my recipe for salted caramel. No, not for dousing on your face — you really don’t want to do that as it is sticky and gooey and messy, and washing it off can can be a real pain.
The recipe is given so you can make the hot chocolate with salted caramel which is really, really good.
The salted caramel is added to the drink twice — first, it is stirred into the drink itself…
…Second, salted caramel is drizzled on the whipped cream that goes on top of the hot chocolate drink.
I used coco sugar because we ran out of brown sugar. You may use light or dark brown sugar, or coco sugar, but note that the color of the caramel sauce will vary depending on the kind of sugar you use.
I used all-purpose (single cream) and the caramel was a bit thin. You might want to use whipping cream for a thicker caramel.
Salted caramel sauce
Put the sugar, butter and honey in a pan and set over medium heat. Let the sugar melt without stirring. You may swirl the pan though to help the process along.
Why no stirring? Because if you disturb the sugar while caramelizing, crystals will form and you won’t have a smooth sauce.
When the sugar has melted, pour in the cream. You may stir using a wooden spoon (a metal spoon will cause a reaction that, again, will result in the formation of crystals).
Continue cooking just until bubbly.
Pour the salted caramel into a wide-mouthed bottle or jar, cover loosely and cool.
Make your chocolate drink as usual (using tablea is a good idea). Stir in one to two tablespoonfuls of the salted caramel. Topped with whipped cream, drizzle with more salted caramel and enjoy.