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Guinness Extra Stout Caramel Sauce

are you a caramel freak ?…

grab your keys
go buy the Guinness
make this caramel sauce !!!

sometimes the best things happen on the way to the destination…
my goal, or destination, was sweet red cherry preserves swimming in malty Guinness syrup.
i ended up with this incredible extra stout vanilla maple caramel sauce
i looked around for Guinness reductions and found quite a few. most were for “dipping” sauces or for savory applications like beef, steak, lamb, pork, ribs etc… they didn’t quite sound like what i was looking for…i didn’t quite know what i was looking for !  one found HERE at Key Ingredient.com is meant for dipping Irish Soda Bread…a simple reduction of equal amounts of Guinness and sugar…YUMMMM!   and another found HERE has balsamic and honey…sounds tasty…might try that one, but i’m a little tired of balsamic at the moment.
so…with that in mind i poured the whole bottle of Guinness Extra Stout in the pot with some brown and white sugar.  fascinated by the foaming and bubbling, i stirred and stirred, tasted and re-tasted…Vanilla!…needs vanilla to mellow out the bitter taste.  still bitter…hmmmmm….Maple syrup?…that did it.
friends and guinea pigs were so mesmerized by this glistening amber pot of gold that ideas started to fly.  strawberries?…pretzels?…brownies?…milk shakes?…BBQ ribs?…ice cream sundae?…caramel cappuccino?…frappuccino?…chocolate?…BACON ?
A BIG SPOON ?… 

enough said…make the sauce !
GUINNESS EXTRA STOUT VANILLA CARAMEL SAUCE
i will preface this with…

i have only made this once and it was incredible.  i pretty much made it up as i was going…or at least i haven’t seen any recipes like it for you to refer to.  so bear with me on the instructions.
basically you are just reducing the ingredients down to a caramel consistency.

1 large bottle (1 pint 6 oz.) Guinness Extra Stout

1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup (might want more, but don’t hide the Guinness flavor)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 scraped vanilla bean.  i used  paste

start with a large heavy bottom pot…large because this will bubble up quite a bit…a lot.
add Guinness, sugars and maple syrup.  start on low until sugar dissolves.  bring it up to medium and reduce, reduce, reduce.  stir, stir, stir…this will help prevent burning and keep the foaming up to a minimum.  i suggest you keep a watchful eye.  when it starts to thicken, add the vanilla paste.  do a taste test.  at first mine was a little too bitter so i added the maple syrup…check yours to see if you might need more than i have suggested.  keep cooking and stirring until it gets to a caramel texture.  be careful not to let it burn.  when it coats your spoon, it should be done.  let cool to room temp.

NOTES…i never refrigerated my jar…i carried this around and gave spoonfuls away the next day.
I DID make the Caramelized Sweet Cherries that i will try to post about soon.
my point is…this could get really hard if refrigerated.
AND…what is left in the jar has turned a little more syrupy, darker, with crystallization on the sides.  still delicious and great for a “dipping sauce”.
SO… i do not know the shelf life or stability of this, but IT’S DELICIOUS !

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