tequila spiked  caramel

Last weekend was insanely hectic and awesome.  But, this post isn’t about that, so stay tuned because that’s coming up later this week. This post is about my amazing lunch that started my week off on an absolutely perfect note.

I was given the opportunity to eat lunch at my very favorite restaurant, Sol Cucina in Newport Beach.  A very good friend (in fact, the friend who introduced us to SOL yeeeears ago) and I went for a long overdue lunch date.  SOL never disappoints.  In fact, somehow, each time we go it surpasses our expectations.  My husband and I get the same thing almost every time we go.  Their carne asada quesadilla is TO.DIE.FOR.  I know, just a simple quesadilla, yet somehow they make it taste magical.  I don’t ask how, I just inhale it and enjoy each bite.  Then there’s their ‘frozen beer.’  Holy.COW!  Again, it’s simple, but the ratios and presentation are perfect.  Just a frozen margarita mixed with your choice of beer.  It’s like a margarita beer slushy, but better.  But during this visit I changed things up, just a bit.  I went their for Newport Beach Restaurant Week (going on January 17-24, 2014), which meant they had a pre fixe menu.  Anything I’ve ever tried there is great, so I know I couldn’t go wrong.  I chose a salad, bowl of soup, tacos and the mini blondie.  And my frozen beer, of course.  I ate everything, I couldn’t help myself.  Look at that carne asada taco and beans, could you resist?  Exactly.

SOL Taco

Before dessert arrived I was stuffed, but then I saw the blondie.  FILLED with candied pecans, white chocolate and a scoop of ice cream on top, THEN a tequila infused caramel to finish it off.  I mean really, as if I could say no?  Ya right.

SOL Blondie

The entire meal was awesome, but that tequila caramel sauce intrigued me.  So I went home and made my own version.  Life is now complete.  And I’ve been drenching everything in tequila spiked caramel.  It’s just the right thing to do.

tequila caramel 2

 

 

Tequila Spiked Caramel

Tequila Spiked Caramel

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup tequila (any kind you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes (until the sugar dissolves). Do not stir.

Once it’s dissolved, increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture (be careful, it’s hot, so don’t swirl it with force, just gently).

*Pay attention very carefully at the end because it can burn very quickly!

Turn off the heat and add the heavy cream and vanilla. (it will bubble and splatter, so stand back a little).

*Don’t worry when the cream bubbles violently and the caramel solidifies, it’s supposed to do that.

Simmer the caramel over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the tequila at the end and stir for another minute. Allow to cool to room temperature (about 4 hours), then chill. It will thicken as it sits and thicken more as it chills.

The caramel can be warmed in the microwave if you want to pour warm caramel over a blondie or ice cream.

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