Salted Caramel Sauce

In rare occasions, indulging in the sweetness of the moment calls for a treat savored delicately. Salted caramel sauce provides that rarified quality, reserved for a special moment, allowing you to truly savor every bite and relish your taste buds.
20140105-035527.jpgSalted caramel sauce can be enjoyed over poached or baked fruits, a tart or pie, ice-cream, or simply drizzled over Chantilly cream.
Making it is very easy, and it keeps for quite a while refrigerated.
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The essential ingredient is fresh French butter, which tastes smooth and rich.

Ingredients for 1-12 oz jar:
(Multiply the recipe for more jars)

6 oz. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
4 oz. French butter
1/8 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Useful tool: wide mouth canning funnel (see photo at bottom of recipe)
20140105-040848.jpgPrepare the jar(s) and utensils in advance of starting to cook the caramel sauce, as you’ll need to pour it into the jar(s) as soon as it is ready.
20140105-041034.jpgBegin by placing the sugar, butter cut into small pieces and sea salt into a saucepan with a heavy bottom or copper pan for even melting.

Add the water to moisten the sugar.
20140105-041139.jpgLet melt on medium heat, mixing with a wooden spoon occasionally.
20140105-041400.jpgThe mixture will foam and rise and might slightly crystalize.
20140105-041528.jpgContinue cooking mixing with a wooden spoon as it starts to caramelize.
20140105-041620.jpgWhen the caramel falls back down and turns a beautiful brown color, turn off the heat.
20140105-041823.jpgAdd the cold cream at once.  Watch out for splatters. The caramel will harden. Continue mixing rapidly.
20140105-041922.jpgPlace back on the stove, on medium heat.
20140105-042035.jpgBring back to a boil and turn off the heat as the caramel mixture rises again.
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Using a wide mouth canning funnel, poor the hot caramel sauce in the jar(s).
20140105-042155.jpgBe sure to pour the caramel almost to the top as it will shrink while cooling.  Let cool till warm to serve.

Let cool completely to refrigerate. Enjoy!

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Œufs en cocotte with white truffle

Œufs en cocotte is a very simple and quick dish, which I decided to prepare as a special holiday treat with a white truffle. The fresh truffle aromas marry themselves well with eggs or potatoes. In Provence, we are used to black truffles as our winter delicacy. The white truffles are the delicacies from Italy. Of course, there are advocates of each. Personally, I enjoy savoring either. Both are a true pleasure. Thinly sliced, ideally with a truffle shaver.

20131215-200624.jpgHere I did not have the right tool, so I used a vegetable peeler, which made the slices a bit too thick and not as delicate. Yet, we thoroughly enjoyed the treat nevertheless.

20131215-200832.jpgIngredients for two guests:
1 fresh white truffle from Alba Italy
4 eggs, preferably organic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup cream
1 tarragon spring
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F.

20131215-200933.jpgSeparate the egg yolks from the whites by placing the yolks in each individual ramequin. Here I used two eggs per person but you can use only one person. Place the egg whites in a bowl with a round base.

20131215-201115.jpgWhisk the egg whites until they become foamy. You can either use a hand whisk or an electric beater. If you use an electric beater be sure you bring the egg whites to the foamy stage only and not too firm.

20131215-201214.jpgAdd a little salt and pepper to taste. Add the Parmesan cheese reserving a couple tablespoons for the top of the ramequins. Add the cream and mix well.

20131215-201334.jpgPour the mixture over the egg yolks to the top of the ramequins.

20131215-201455.jpgSprinkle the extra Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for about 8 minutes.

20131215-201624.jpgMeanwhile, shave the truffle in thin slices.

20131215-201848.jpgThe œufs en cocotte are ready when the top is golden brown. The inside should still be runny. Top with the truffle shavings and tarragon. Cover with an upside down plate to infuse the flavors for a minute. Remove the plate and serve immediately. Enjoy with a small spoon.

20131216-071242.jpgAfterwards, we also enjoyed grilled scallops atop mousseline potatoes with more white truffle shavings. Here served with purple crispy potatoes and a salad.
Enjoy a delicious holiday season.