I may have mentioned before here and here that I love Valentine’s Day. It also happens to be my halfiversary- sort of. When I was a kid, I figured that if August 4th was my birthday, February 2nd must be my half birthday. Pretty fancy division skills, right?
Joshua and I met on August 28th, and were married on the same date 6 years later. We’ve always celebrated our halfiversary using my awesome kid-math- so… February 14th it is.
This year, a last minute change of plans, means we’re staying in, and I know exactly what we’re having for dessert. Champagne (pink champagne at that!) and roses turn this caramel sauce into pure romance. While I have been eating this off of a spoon, tonight, we’ll have ice cream parfaits layered with blood orange pound cake, champagne-soaked strawberries, and vanilla bean whipped cream topped with some rose petals nicked from my neighbor’s organic garden—with his permission of course!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
- ½ cup of rosé champagne
- 1 cup organic sugar
- heavy pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- ½ teaspoon whole ground vanilla (like Love Street Living Foods) or a whole vanilla bean
- 4 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
- In a heavy bottom sauce pan, reduce champagne over medium high heat until it’s volume is reduced by half.
- Add sugar and salt and bring to a boil while swirling the pan gently. Turn down heat to medium and continue to swirl the pan to incorporate the sugars. Wipe down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush, to incorporate.
- Watch your caramel very carefully, as it starts to change color, it will go from perfect to burnt, very quickly. Since we’re using a colored liquid, you’ll want to be extra careful. Smell and viscosity will also play a large part in making this sauce. The caramel should drip very very slowly off the back of a wooden spoon- think thick like maple syrup.
- In a separate small saucepan, warm heavy cream, rosewater, and vanilla until just warm to the touch.
- When sugar mixture is golden amber in color, completely smooth, and thick like syrup, remove the sugar mixture from the heat source, and slowly whisk in the cream in a steady stream.
- Place pot back on low heat, and whisk in the butter one piece at a time- only adding the next piece once the last one is fully incorporated.
- Cook on low for a minute or two, whisking constantly to achieve a nice thickness, remove from heat and cool before tasting. Serve over vanilla ice cream, or pound cake, or strawberries macerated in champagne… or make a sundae with all three!