Friday, March 18, 2005

SHF#6 - Bailey Caramel Sauce over Steamed Sweet Potato Muffin

Steamed Sweet Potato Muffin with Bailey Caramel Sauce
♥ Bailey Caramel Sauce over Steamed Sweet Potato Muffin
I know I have already missed 5 editions of Sugar High Friday (SHF), a clever (and exciting!) monthly food blog event created by Jennifer from The Domestic Goddess. Being a girl with a passion for sweet things, I have no idea why I would let myself missed out on 5 chances to get my hands dirty and have fun in the kitchen with sweet sweet things.

Hosted by Debbie of Words to Eat By, the theme for the 5th edition of SHF is Stuck on You and the ingredient is of course the sweet sticky chewy oh-so-more-ish caramel. Oh! Sweet caramel. How can one not like the sugary syrupy burnt sugar in amber colour? I particularly love the burnt caramel on creme brulee. *yum* The first thing that sprung to my mind when I knew of caramel as the main ingredient was candied sweet potato from Taiwan. It's sweet potato (or kumera) that's been cooked in a mixture of sugar and maltose and enjoyed hot. I was going to make that but I didn't have maltose at home besides I had a craving for something spongy.

So what did I come up with? It sounds a little strange and perhaps even weird. It's a combination of the East and West muffin with bailey caramel sauce.

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 18 Mar 2005
I came upon a steamed banana muffin recipe by SeaDragon. It's really smart of SeaDragon to spin together the West and the East and created a fusion muffin! I would never have thought of doing that.

I was thinking about the steamed muffin even in my sleep but I was also dreaming about the soft sweet slightly burnt aroma of the syrupy caramel ever since I learn of caramel being the 6th SHF ingredient. I guess I might as well combine the two together since I have been drooling about the two. Perhaps you can call this "killing 2 birds with one stone"!

The original recipe calls for banana which I substituted with sweet potato (or kumera) instead since I didn't have any banana on hand. I have also reduced the sugar to about 50g since I will be having the muffin with some luscious syrupy sugary caramel sauce. Besides, sweet potato has a certain level of sweetness in itself.

Just before steaming
♥ Batter before steaming
I don't have a proper steamer so I let my trustworthy frypan had the honour of steaming my first ever steamed muffin. The batter was in fact thicker than I thought it would be and it's a little lumpy.

I have also added about 2 tablespoonful more of milk than required because I used wholemeal flour which I believe requires a tad more liquid than the normal flour.

In the steamer
♥ Steaming.....
Here you see the steaming in action. Thanks to my transparent wok-lid, I was able to enjoy the beautiful action of the batter slowly puffing up and turning into a beautiful domed shape.

Muffin is done steaming!
♥ Steamed Sweet Potato Muffin or Chinese Muffin?
I reckon we could call this chinese muffin. It looks so much like muffin yet it also resembles a little bit of the chinese steamed cake (fa gao).

Now about the caramel sauce. This is actually my first time making caramel sauce to be served over cakes or drizzle over ice-cream. I looked through a number of recipes but couldn't find one that I like so I thought I might as well use my woman instinct and do it the agar-agar (estimated) way. I also have some bailey irish creme that needed to be used up of so I thought why not substitute the cream/milk with bailey instead. The combination was rather wonderful. There you have the sinful combination of rich caramel with the flamboyant flavour of milky sweet bailey. This is definitely a caramel sauce for the grown-up!

The recipe is only a rough guide since I didn't exactly measure everything when I was making the sauce.

♥ Bailey Caramel Sauce
3/4C sugar
1C water
1tsp cornflour*
100ml Bailey Liquor + extra if required**

  • Place sugar and water into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes until sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to the boil. Do not stir from this stage onwards or the syrup might cuddle. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes until sauce reduces and thickens slightly to an amber/caramel colour.
  • Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together cornflour and Bailey until cornflour dissolves. Add to the slighly cooled sauce.
  • Return to stovetop over low heat. Cook, stirring, until sauce just comes to the boil.
  • Remove from heat and check for a syrupy consistency. If it's too thin, heat over low heat for a little while more. If it is too thick, simply whisk in tiny bits of bailey and check again.
* Cornflour is added as a stabiliser. I think it will be alright if you leave this out.
**You can substitute bailey for any other liquor you fancy eg. cointreau, rum. If you are not after the grown-up caramel sauce, simply use pouring cream or milk instead. For a low-fat alternative, use buttermilk.

Sweet syrupy bailey caramel sauce over sweet potato muffin
♥ Pinkcocoa's SHF6 Submission!
Ta-daaa~ Here it is: Bailey caramel sauce poured over steamed sweet potato muffin. The sauce in this photo is slightly thicker than it should be. I have heated the sauce for too long and the sauce has turned into icing consistency. It should really be more runny. This photo used my first batch of caramel sauce. I had better luck with my second batch but unfortunately, I didn't have time to take a photo of my better sauce.

Seriously, I was actually a little bit sceptical about the combination of steamed muffin with caramel sauce and was worried if the result would turn out bad. Luckily, it worked quite well but I am not so sure if this was a wise combination. We love the muffin and we love the sauce. Just that the combination was not as perfect. But anyhow, I had fun with SHF. I guess if not for SHF, I would never have thought of combining the two together!

I don't think I have mentioned how the muffin tasted like. It tasted a little like sponge cake yet there is a certain chewiness in it. It is also a little bit softer and more moist than sponge cake. It's quite light, not as dense and heavy as its muffin cousin. I quite enjoy this muffin. I bet it's yummy with nutella spreaded on top! ;-)

As with the bailey caramel sauce, it's absolutely divine except it's a little sweeter than I like. This will be nice drizzle over ice-cream, bread and butter pudding and perhaps even as a spread for your toast! Okay, bailey in the morning might not be a good idea but well, if it's just for that tiny little indulgence once in a while, why not?

Round-up of SHF6: Stuck on You