Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce

Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel SauceThis recipe teaches you how to make an Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce.  The fundamental culinary science is the same, whether you add an Irish Whiskey or use beer, to flavor the caramel sauce.

When making a caramel sauce, it is important to understand the process and the flavor results. One of the flavor attributes of a delicious caramel sauce is bitterness. As sugar cooks, the darker the caramel color, the more bitter the sugar syrup becomes. As the sugar is caramelizing and getting closer to burning, the sweetness drops, and bitterness becomes a more dominant flavor in the final sauce. As the caramel is developing its flavor, it is stopped by adding the cream.  The cream and butter add richness via fat, which rounds out the textural elements of a luscious caramel sauce.

Adding salt, in this case, a wood-smoked salt brings salinity to the sauce, layering another foundational flavor (salt | sweet | sour | bitter and umami). This is why salted caramel is so satisfying on the palate. As many different types of Irish Whisk(e)y and Scotches use different barley malts, some smoked over hardwood, while others add peat, bringing a unique characteristic to this finished distilled spirit.  The addition of smoked salt enhances these flavor elements while bringing another attribute, smoke, to the taste profile. Sea salt can be used to replace smoked salt if you aren’t a fan or don’t have access to smoked salt in your spice pantry.

Replacing the Irish Whiskey for Beer:

Different beer styles can create different types of caramel sauce.  When crafting your own caramel sauce, consider the IBU (International Bittering Units), as caramel has an inherent bitterness (from the caramelization of the sugar) and more IBUs will intensify that bitterness. Try using lower IBU styles of beer, such as Stout (Irish, Oatmeal, or Imperial) for a Stout Caramel Sauce, Irish Red Ale for a more malt-forward Red Ale Caramel Sauce, further enhance the caramel | toffee flavors with an Old AleStock Ale / Wee Heavy | English Strong Ale | English Brown Ale making a Malted Caramel Sauce or even a Rauchbier | Smoke Beer | Smoked Porter for a Smoked Bier Caramel Sauce, omitting the smoked salt…

All these types of caramel sauce can be made using the recipe below.  The same cooking technique is used to make the caramel sauce.  Adding the smoked salt gives it an extra savory layer, that, with the salt, breaks up the sweetness that is associated with caramel sauce.

 

Ways To Use Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe: 

  • Add 2–3 tablespoons of the finished caramel sauce to 1 cup of whipping cream to make a Caramel Whipped Cream. The caramel sauce becomes the sugar and flavor for the whipping cream.
  • Or warm the caramel and pour over ice cream (think Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Base), drizzle over a cake layer or garnish a dessert with a lattice pattern over the top or pool on the plate.
  • Replace the sugar in the Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Base with 1/3 cup of the Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce to make an Irish Stout Chocolate Whiskey Caramel Ice cream!
  • Irish Layered Cake
  • Irish Trifle

Chocolate Irish Stout Cake

Originally published in BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière| Mar 2014 | Issue #86

Irish Trifle

Ingredients
Servings: cup
Units:
Instructions
  • In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, add the sugar, corn syrup, and water or beer, and place over medium heat. Slowly heat the sugar until it starts to melt and the mixture begins to boil. Bring the sugar to 355–360°F | 179-182°C or a dark mahogany color, about 8 minutes.
    Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce
  • Carefully add the cream and butter. This mixture will bubble up and steam, and the sugar will harden and clump. This is OK—bring the caramel back to a boil, and the sugar will dissolve again. Whisk the caramel until it’s smooth and silky.
    Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce
  • Add the Irish whiskey and smoked salt, whisking to combine. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using. The caramel can be transferred to a seal-able container and stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. When ready to use, remove from the ice box and warm slightly, to make the sauce easier/faster to pour.
    Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce
Recipe Notes

More Irish Beer Cuisine Recipes:

Cream (Ale of Curried Parsnip Soup
“Cream” (Ale) of Curried Parsnip Soup
Beer Boxty Bread
Beer Boxty Bread
Butter “Scotch” Sauce
Chicken and Leek Stew
Chicken and Leek Stew
Chocolate Irish Stout Cake
Chocolate Irish Stout Cake
Colcannon
Colcannon
Colcannon
Colcannon - Vegan
Cottage Pie with Ale
Cottage Pie with Ale
Fisherman’s Pie Infused with Irish Red Ale
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
How to Cook Corned Beef and Cabbage
Irish Car Bomb Pie Slice
Irish Car Bomb Pie
Irish Cream Pastry Cream
Irish Cream Pastry Cream
Irish Layered Cake
Irish Soda Bread with Stout Soaked Raisins
Irish Stout Soaked Currants
Irish Stout Stew
Irish Stout Stew
Irish Trifle
Irish Trifle
Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce
Irish Whiskey Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce
Irish-Style Pot Roast 200
Irish-Style Pot Roast
Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Ale
Mushroom Stout and Potato Pot Pie
Pot Pie Crust
Smoked Fish Pot Pie
Smoked Fish Pot Pie
Stout Cured Corned Beef and Cabbage
Stout Cured Corned Beef and Cabbage

 

Sean Paxton

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *