Vanilla Bourbon Bars
Vanilla Bourbon Bars with salted caramel, candied lemons, and a maple pearl garnish.
Bourbon Street Bars:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. While that is heating up place flour, ½ C sugar, and softened butter in a bowl and mix thoroughly. (You can do this with a spoon but I ended up doing it with my hands to speed things up). In a 9x9x2 inch un-greased pan, press this mixture evenly across the bottom, it should be roughly 1/2in thick. Bake for 18 minutes.
2. Reduce the ovens temp down to 300 degrees F. In a stand mixer, begin to beat the yolks and ¼ C of sugar until it is slightly frothy. Slowly add in the heavy cream and bourbon, beat until it is fully incorporated. Pour this mixture over the baked base.
3. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until the custard has set and you are able to place a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean.
4. Let sit for 1 hour then you may slice it into rectangles, I used 2x1 ½ in. Refrigerate to keep fresh for up to 72 hours.
Sea Salted Caramel:
1. In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan combine 1C sugar and ¼ C cold water, stir once to combine. Cook until the sugar is a nice, deep amber hue, this should take 12-15 minutes.
2. While the sugar is cooking, heat heavy cream in a separate pan. Once the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Let the heavy cream and caramel simmer until it is smooth, should only take another 3 minutes.
3. Once the caramel mixture is a smooth consistency, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and then the salt. You may adjust the salt to accommodate your taste. Carefully place in a bottle for easy plating.
Candied Lemon Peels:
1.Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the peel in vertical strips. I removed most of the bitter pith but you can leave on as much as you’d like. Then cut the peel into your desired shapes.
2. Combine ¼ C water and lemon into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil pour out water and start the process over again, you will want to do this process 3-4 times to remove the bitterness from the peel. After the last boil, set the lemon peels to the side.
3. Put ½ C sugar and ¼ C water in the sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring this mixture to a boil and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.
4. Drop peels into syrup, lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer until the peels are translucent. Once translucent, drain the syrup and toss the peels in a bowl with sugar. Toss the peels until they are thoroughly covered in sugar then shape the peels into desired shape. You will want to work quickly while doing this because the peels with harden up fairly quickly, you will also want to be careful because the syrup is piping hot and can burn you fairly badly.
Plating the Bourbon Street Bars:
At this point you can have fun and plate them however you’d like, but I will give you the simple steps I used. 1. First you will want to grab a 10-inch plate and place a 2x1 ½ inch bourbon bar diagonally in the center of the plate.
2. Next you will want to grab your bottle of sea salted caramel, you will zigzag the caramel across the entire plate, top to bottom, side to side.
3. You will then grab a football shaped candied lemon peel that is slightly crescent moon shaped and place it on top of the bar, I put mine at a slight angle.
4. Lastly, you will want to build a maple pearl pyramid garnish on top of the candied peel. These pearls bring an elegant look and a nice popping texture to the dish. Bon Appetit!
Bourbon Street Bars Base:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted Butter, softened
Bourbon Street Crème Brulee:
- 5 egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
Sea Salted Caramel:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea Salt Candied Lemon Peel:
- 1 lemon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar + ¼ cup sugar for tossing Maple Pearls
- 1 jar Maple Pearls
Entry into The Spice Lab's 2017 Online Recipe Contest
|Prep Time||70 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
|Total Time||120 minutes|
|Credits||Chef DIana Hicks|