“Do you think Santa watches Bake Off Mummy?” said my youngest the other day. I wasn’t really sure how to answer that so I obliged with “Of course he does. Someone has to bring Paul a present don’t they?” She laughed but pressed on. “So do you think like Mary and Paul Santa gets a bit sick of eating mince pies all the time? I mean he must eat millions Mummy! Just like all those scones you had to make for Paul”. What if they have soggy bottoms? Does he spit them out?” I reassured her that he didn’t because he loves all things children bake but must confess she had a point.
I asked her what she thought we should make instead. She pondered a while and then remembered I had made some caramel dipping sauce for a friend recently and she decided that Santa was not likely to get that at the bottom of a chimney from anybody and we should go with that. “It would be good for dipping carrots into as well!”, she said.
An interesting choice from a 9 year old I must admit but then again her favourite people on TV are Simon Hopkinson and Tom Herbert.
This is luscious! I mean really luscious. It’s pretty handy to have around as it helps to make a very quick dessert. Drizzle it over meringues or chocolate brownies, vanilla ice cream or into custard or bake some chocolate madelines for dipping. If you feel really decadent you can drizzle it over porridge and counteract the naughtiness with some fresh fruit. Or you could do what I do and simply eat it out of the jar! The salt is optional but a nice adult treat which is all the rage at the moment.
- 360g soft unsalted butter – spend a little more on a really good quality one as it will make a massive difference to the taste.
- 360g dark muscavado sugar
- 150ml double cream
- 150ml clotted cream
- 2-4 tsp crushed sea salt (optional)
To make it
- First sterilise two 500ml jars by giving them a good boil wash in the dishwasher or boiling them in a large pan for about 15 minutes. Then set aside and leave to dry.
- Melt the butter and sugar together in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Once it’s melted, leave to bubble for 10 minutes so it thickens enough to thickly coat the back off a wooden spoon.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the creams until well combined. The mixture will go a smooth and glossy consistency.
- Add the salt to your taste – the flavour does get stronger as the caramel cools so beware. You can always add more later.
- Finally pour the mixture into the sterilised jars.
What do you leave for Santa on Christmas Eve? Does he eat every little bit?