You know the flavor contrast you get when you bite into a perfect caramel apple—first rich, creamy, sweet caramel, and then bracingly tart, juicy apple? Add half a dozen spices and that’s what this caramel sauce tastes like. At first, you think, “Oh yeah, luxuriously rich, wonderfully spiced caramel,” and then POW, the acidity of the reduced apple cider kicks in and your mouth goes, “Hey, whoa, what’s happening here?” I love this double-punch effect.
A couple of weeks ago, in the post titled, Oh You Great Big Beautiful Blondie, I included a recipe for Caramel Blondies with a Peanut Butter Caramel Blondie variation. The post shows a layer of Blondie batter with dollops of Peanut Butter Caramel over the top and a second layer of batter being spread over the caramel. The lead photo also features the Peanut Butter Caramel Blondie variation.
I created this sauce as a green chile flavor element for the Green Chile Mac & Cheese Throw Down (which will post next) and then got to thinking how useful it would be in a good number of other dishes. For instance, it would be dynamite served with grilled fish or chicken or as an adjunct to enchiladas. It could also be used as a base for a silky soup, either hot or cold. I’d love to see it spiked with lime and served as a kind of Mexican Gazpacho.