Easiest Mocha-Caramel Sauce

Posted by on Monday Jun 13th, 2011 | Print

Any of you who have lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts will remember Toscanini’s. When I was in college, Toscanini’s was my place. It provided my latte before morning class and my coffee and cookie on the way to the library. Best of all–but a little more rarely–it was the doler-outer of my “micro sundaes.”

Anyone else nostalgic for those micro sundaes? Here’s the deal with micro sundaes: for $3 (a regular small cup or cone was something like $3.50, so $3 is a deal), you got a pixie cup-sized sundae, complete with a half-sized scoop of Toscanini’s super rich ice cream, a drizzle of hot fudge (on the top and the bottom), and some homemade whipped cream. It was tiny and rich–a perfect indulgence.

For a long time, I ate a lot of ice cream. Now with my mid-twenties metabolism, I eat a little bit less. These days though, I like to make my own micro sundaes–at home, which is better for the budget. I take one small scoop of good ice cream from my freezer, top it with hot fudge or this Mocha-Caramel Sauce, and add some whipped cream if I have some, or, more often, chopped toasted nuts or crumbled up cookies leftover from this or that baking experiment. (Diced pecan squares are up there too.) All of this may seem excruciatingly rich to you health nuts, but when you’re talking four, five bites, I think most of you could put away a portion.

As for the sauce that’s really the subject of this post, it’s a delight to find in the fridge when I’m craving a micro sundae. At its most basic, it’s a caramel sauce–but not the kind you have to burn sugar to make. It’s easy to throw together, and is really just about mixing and simmering. But I can’t resist throwing in some espresso and cocoa powders, as well as some sea salt, to ramp up the flavor. The overall effect is haunting and deep, delicious over ice cream, whether vanilla, butter pecan, or hazelnut (my current fave).

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,

Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK

**Recipes**


Mocha-Caramel Sauce
Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients
4 tablespoons butter, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

Combine butter, cream, sugar, cocoa in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly as the butter melts.

Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and stir in the salt and the espresso powder. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the balance of flavors.

Spoon over ice cream. This keeps for weeks (if not months) in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave very briefly (5-15 seconds) before using.

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  • Eleanor C

    I love the idea of adding cocoa powder to a classic caramel sauce!

  • http://www.foster-fridge.com/ under counter freezer

    Debunking the ‘Latte Factor’: It’s Not What You Buy, It’s How You Buy It

  • http://www.cheapbeets.wordpress.com Molly

    It may keep well for months, but I doubt this sauce would last more than four days in my fridge. Sounds great!

  • NoPotCooking

    Oh that sauce sounds good, but really got me were the micro sundaes! I worked at an ice cream parlor when I was in high school and we used to make tiny hot fudge sundaes (with peanut butter fudge ice cream) in the little plastic water cups and eat them on the sly. They were so delicious.

  • NoPotCooking

    Oh that sauce sounds good, but really got me were the micro sundaes! I worked at an ice cream parlor when I was in high school and we used to make tiny hot fudge sundaes (with peanut butter fudge ice cream) in the little plastic water cups and eat them on the sly. They were so delicious.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      They’re almost better when not bottomless–you know?!

  • http://www.latestrecipes.net Olive@Latestrecipes

    I’ll try this one, too! My family and I are going to love it for sure!  Thanks for sharing! :)

  • http://farmgirlfare.com Farmgirl Susan

    This sounds divine! I’m ready to go make some right now – though I don’t think it will last for weeks in my fridge. Actually, it might not even make it into the fridge. ;)

  • Pingback: Big Girls, Small Kitchen: College Town Ice Cream Parlor Roundup | eduJunction