Salted Caramel of Morning Toast

Mother’s Day – the unofficial holiday of trashed kitchens and questionable dishes made and delivered by little hands at the crack of dawn, all in the name of love. It’s a sweet day (often sticky sweet) when well-meaning youngsters and earnest dads do their best to surprise Mom with her annual breakfast in bed. Though endearing, the collateral damage of a batter-spattered, syrup-sticky kitchen is a gift that keeps on giving, and we all know who does the mop-up. This year, why not treat Mom to a mess-free delight? Try these thick, buttery slabs of sweet-salty-caramel-y toast, made of whole grain, ideally artisan, bread. Dressed with a few basic ingredients, it shifts from scrambled-egg sidekick to center of the plate. And note that no kitchen-wrecking caramel was actually used in the making of this toast; the caramel-y flavor comes from the magically delicious combination of rich Kerrygold butter, deep-flavored Grade B maple syrup and a nice pinch of salt. In this recipe the crucial ingredient is the bread, made by the best artisan bakery you can find. Look for unsliced loaves of crusty whole grain bread; if sandwich-style square loaves aren't available, round, rustic loaves of sourdough work well. And if none of this eclectic stuff is available to you, grab yourself a loaf of pre-sliced Texas Toast (available in many supermarkets) and go to town. Yes, you could use regular-sliced wheat berry, but the delicious part comes in a having a big ol’ slab of toast that you eat with a fork and knife. Once you've got the bread, all you'll need is Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, good quality maple syrup (look for Grade B, though other grades will work) and salt. With a toaster oven or a wide-slot toaster, you're good to go; in a pinch you can even do it in the broiler. From there it’s just toast, slather, drizzle and sprinkle, serve with love and a great cup of coffee. Just be sure to wipe the counters when you're done.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4” – 1” slices of whole grain bread, one or two per serving
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
  • Salt (sea salt or table salt) to taste
Directions:
  • Toast bread.
  • Spread immediately with soft Kerrygold Unsalted Butter – there should be enough to leave a little butter pooled on the surface.
  • Drizzle with maple syrup (the syrup is just one of the flavors; drizzle lightly and evenly over the whole surface of the bread, but do not drown the toast as you would pancakes).
  • Sprinkle quickly with a good pinch of salt.
  • Serve immediately on a warm plate, with knife, fork and a nice napkin.

Variations:

  • Mix orange blossom, acacia or any light flavored honey with a bit of grated orange zest and a tiny amount of grated ginger and spread it on the buttered bread. A pinch of salt is nice with this, too.
  • Substitute a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon or a generous pinch of cardamom for the ginger  in the above variation.
  • Mix a tablespoon of dark brown sugar with a large pinch of ground coriander or cardamom (you can always opt for cinnamon, but the other spices are brighter and add more interesting flavor). Spread on heavily buttered toast and run it under the broiler (or place in toaster oven) until the butter/sugar bubbles slightly (2-3 minutes). Be careful not to burn the toast!
  • For a savory version, top the buttered bread with a generous amount of grated Parmesan or Pecorino, a twist of black pepper and a little grated lemon zest. Run it under the broiler for about 45 seconds to slightly melt the cheese.

 

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