Friday, April 3, 2009

Agave Nectar Caramel Sauce

Personally, I am a big fan of Agave Nectar. I use it to sweeten cold drinks and fruit sauces without the worry of having to dissolve it first.  

 Agave nectar is harvested in Mexico from the Agave plant (the same plant used in making Tequila), and  some of it is processed and bottled in Lyons, Colorado.  Many people love it, and others think it's hype.  I'm just here to show you how to use it.

Simple Caramel Sauce

Fresh Yogurt with Caramel......

Agave Nectar Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup Longmont Dairy heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to stir the caramel sauce occasionally.  If your sauce is too thin continue cooking several more minutes.  If sauce become too thick, add a spot more cream, and bring back to a boil until cream is incorporated.   

Caramel will last approximately a week in the fridge if no one sees it...

See you at the Market.

Chef Deb


Fran Meneley said...

Hi Deb - I just wanted to let you know that I also have a blog - art, life, travel - and I have linked to your blog under " foodie blogs that make me hungry" - I love what you are doing here and check in every week. Take care - see you at school - Fran - Parker's mom -

Chef Deb T said...

Thanks Fran,

I appreciate the link!

Chef Deb T.

Babe in Babeland said...

Hi Deb! What a great site. I was looking for an agave nectar recipe and stumbled upon your blog. I want to make caramel sticky buns using agave nectar. Do you think this would work for that? When I bake the rolls, can I bake it in this agave caramel sauce? Thanks!

Chef Deb T said...

Hi Babe and Thank you!

Hhmm. So, lets think this one through. I want to say yes, but there may be a few extra steps and they all have to do with chemistry and texture..

I know when I make sticky buns (goodness I love those things!) I use a combination of butter, honey and brown sugar.. I just combine those in a bowl and spread the mixture over the bottom of the pan. In essence, we have created a "soft" solid to place our dough while we are doing the final proofing.
However, if you start with a liquid caramel and place your dough on top of it for it's final proof, you are at risk of having the dough absorb your caramel before it even cooks, and this is not what you want.

My first instinct is to : Make a little extra caramel (gasp...Whaat does one do with extra caramel?). Let the caramel cool. Spread 1/2 of your caramel onto your pan, add nuts next, then place your dough on top of the nuts. Proof your dough, and bake according to your recipe. ( I always place my pan with my sticky buns on a backing sheet to catch the caramel that oozes out). Once your buns have baked, let them "rest" for 5-7 minutes before you turn them out ( this gives the caramel time to set). Now, as you buns begin to cool, drizzle additional caramel over the top and save the rest for those of us who will want more on our little bums..

I hope I did not over explain. Agave nectar is more difficult to cook with, but it can be done and I am interested in hearing out this turns out. I would love a followup!


Chef Deb T.

Babe in Babeland said...

Chef Deb, thank you so much!

This was all VERY HELPFUL. There is no such thing as over explaining things to me when it comes to cooking or baking, since the kitchen sadly is not where my talent lies. The more details for me, the less chance of disaster in the kitchen. So THANK YOU!

I decided to give it a go yesterday. I really had this urge to make caramel sticky buns! And they actually turned out really well. I did as you said, and it worked great! Plus, I now have some extra caramel sauce to sprinkle more over the buns (good call on making extra :-)).

I was able to make my sticky buns with no sugar at all, and yet they are tasty and gooey and deee-licious. Yay for agave nectar!

Thanks again for your help and the great recipe.

Chef Deb T said...

Yeah! This is how much of a food dork I am... I actually cried when I read your reply! I am thrilled you were able to make it work. It seems you are more talented in the kitchen then you thought..sticky buns are not easy.

Next time take photos!

Have a fabulous day!

Chef Deb

P.S. I LOVE agave nectar too. We buy in 5 gallon containers (don't want to run out, you know). You should try making a Sabayon with's easy and taste great on fruit...and everyone will be so impressed. I will experiment in the next week or so and send out the recipe.

Jacob said...

Hey! I also was looking for a caramel for sticky buns. your instructions were very helpful. I was wanting to make healthier sticky buns. thx so much!

KellyB said...

How about caramel apples? Does this harden up for that purpose? Thanks!

Chef Deb T said...

HI Kelly B,

Sorry, It's taken me a few days to reply, I was away in Jackson Hole for the week..

I have not taken this recipe to the stage for harder caramel. Typically, caramel needs to reach at least 236 degrees to become thick enough to hold, for dipping. But, I am not sure you can take a simple agave and cream recipe and just reduce it to the point of chewy caramel with out some tweaking. I don't know how Agave reacts to high temperatures...
For example: does is burn easier? Will 236 degrees give you the consistency for a chewy caramel? Do we need to introduce acid (lemon or corn syrup) to give the caramel the correct structure? Whats the shelf life of the agave caramel, if you do achieve the correct consistency?
I will do some testing and I will let you know next week.

I also want to add, that agave nectar is touted as having a lower glycemic index then table sugar, but once you condense the nectar as you do when making caramel, that advantage pretty much goes out the window. It's still a highly, highly concentrated sugar, although it's not a GMO product....which is good.

thanks for the question.

I'll try is out.

Chef Deb

NancyinSTL said...

Today, I'm making a caramel pecan pound cake with caramel sauce to take to a holiday party. Like you, I love agave. So, I'm going to try making the sauce using agave. My original reason for using agave was so that my diabetic sister could eat it. I am very sad that the low glycenmic index goes out of the window when making the sauce. Oh well, I going to give it a try anyway. Thanks!