Maple syrup, walnuts and bourbon are a match made in heaven. The three flavours combine very favourably in desserts. Here is a recipe for an an ice cream topping that is just about perfect for vanilla flavour. Although it looks very easy to make, it is actually a bit tricky to get it right.
- 1 part walnut kernels
- 2 parts maple syrup
- Your favourite bourbon
Chop the walnuts coarsely and put them into a small saucepan together with the maple syrup. On gentle heat bring the syrup to a boil and let it caramelize until it becomes noticeably viscous. Stir frequently during the entire boiling phase. The caramelized syrup should have a dark reddish brown colour.
Let the mixture cool down below the boiling point of alcohol but not too cool or else the caramel would become solid. You can check the temperature by stirring in a dash of bourbon. If the alcohol evaporates, wait a little longer before continuing. Carefully stir in the bourbon until the liquid has about the same viscosity as the regular maple syrup, this may involve dissolving solidified caramel. Should the liquid become too thin, you can always add a little more syrup.
The amount of bourbon needed depends on the grade of caramelization, it should be about half of the original amount of maple syrup.