My husband and both kids have birthdays all within about a month of each other. From the time school starts until now, we have a whirlwind of celebrations and weekend parties. Last weekend, it was my husband’s turn. Do you know one of those people who loves spicy food? I don’t mean a little hot, I’m talking about burn your face off, where’s the water, why did I eat that, can I have some more, flaming hot. I’m married to that guy. I spend quite a bit of time trying to get him to say “Whew…spicy!” I did it this weekend with an innocent looking caramel sauce on top of cheesecake.
If you’re a mere mortal, like the rest of us, and want to taste everything you eat after this, either decrease the number of peppers or leave them out entirely for a buttery caramel sauce. For the record, this sauce was my 4th attempt.
Habanero Caramel Sauce
6 – 8 fresh habanero peppers
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cut habaneros in half and scrape out the seeds. Put peppers and seeds in a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Cover with a lid (I can’t emphasize this enough – unless you’d like to have everyone in the room choking on the steam) and cook on low for 30 – 45 minutes. Add water if needed to keep peppers covered. Remove from heat. Drain, saving 1/3 cup of liquid. Separate the seeds and discard. Chop the peppers.
Combine the butter, brown sugar, syrup and pepper water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter and sugar are melted, and the mixture begins to foam. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and chopped peppers. Serve hot or cooled. Makes 2 cups of sauce.
This makes a pretty large batch, but fortunately we just bought 40 pounds of apples from the high school football team, so my husband is looking forward to using the rest as apple dip later. I’ll be standing by with the fire extinguisher.
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