Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m only a fourth Irish but it’s enough for me to look at this holiday as a must have; it helps I love the food and drink from Ireland. Considering today is my cocktail day, it would seem the perfect opportunity to make an Irish Coffee for you but I’ve done that before so it had to be something different; a bit more unique. First I was going to make Irish whiskey caramels but quickly segued to the idea of making this Irish Coffee Caramel Sauce with Irish Whiskey and that was a good thing.
I don’t have a process for developing a recipe; sometimes the best ideas come to me while in the middle of preparing a dish and that was the case here. If I wasn’t going to make Irish coffee; then I would make an Irish Whiskey Caramel Sauce. The hint of warm whiskey permeates the end result in a way that is reminiscent of the experience of drinking an Irish coffee. A bit of brown sugar in the sauce completes the transition. I’ve made my fair share of caramel sauces infused with booze; this is by far my favorite. By FAR!
As if this caramel sauce isn’t decadent enough; I wanted a bit of texture too so I whipped up a batch of candied walnuts using espresso. They are absolutely good enough to eat on their own. I know this for a fact; I should have made more.
Caramel sauces can be tricky and while it takes a bit longer, I’m of the camp that likes to start combining a bit of water with the sugar; also adding a small amount of corn syrup helps to prevent the sauce from crystallizing and I’ve had great success with this method. Since I wanted a taste reminiscent of Irish Coffee, I used half granulated and half brown sugar in this recipe. Pay close attention to the color of the sauce when you start as it will already be brown; as it starts to darken you’ll want to give it a bit more leeway on color. It will get darker than normal but this does not mean it’s burning. I took a quick photo of mine in process and it’s a bit like a darker copper penny.
I’ve got dessert now for tonight but I have to share this Cabbage and Bacon Colcannon with Irish Whiskey Steak that I”m making for dinner. I posted it last year and if you’ve never heard of Colcannon, this might be a good time to discover it. A fantastic blend of mashed potatoes and cabbage; my version has bacon too. I accompanied it with steak with Irish Whiskey sauce; I think I’ve been waiting all year to have it again!
Have a fun and safe (yep that’s the mom in me!) St. Paddy’s Day.