Although I do not celebrate Christmas, I found myself making a last minute decision to use whatever ingredients are already in the kitchen to bake a gluten-free, vegan Christmas great cake. I avoid heavy traffic like the plague. So since traffic has already become hectic, I simply refused to go out to buy the browning. Why should I? I could make browning from scratch with only 2 ingredients over a few stress-free minutes.
What you need to make browning
- 2 parts brown sugar
- 1 part water
Implements and Other
- heater (stove, etc) with the capacity for low to medium heat settings
- sauce pan
- spoon, wooden
- squirt bottle for storage (like the ones used for ketchup)
- label for the storage bottle
- Distraction-free space and time. This process involves constantly monitoring sugar as it melts at very high temperatures. Consequently, you will need to dedicate your undivided attention to this process. The amount of required depends on the quantity of sugar you must melt. It took me roughly 10 minutes in total to process 3 tbsp of sugar
Instructions for making browning
- Spread sugar inside the saucepan over low to medium heat.
- Stir the sugar constantly. It should begin to melt within a few seconds. A clear syrup will form.
- Allow the syrup to darken. The extent to which you allow the syrup is a personal choice. However, know that you can allow it to get nearly black. Do not be alarmed when it smokes, bubbles and froths like erupting larva. This is normal. Keep stirring and observing the color. You may lower the heat slightly if the smoking is too intense.
- When you are happy with the color, immediately place the saucepan inside the kitchen sink.
- Quickly pour ALL the water in AT ONCE and stir constantly. Be careful as the browning may spatter. Stir until the syrup becomes smooth.
- Allow the browning to cool before putting it into the labelled storage container. BTW, you can store browning for extended periods over months at a time.
- Do not be alarmed by the bitter taste of the browning. In addition to giving the cake a very rich, dark color, it also imparts subtle character that you will miss without it.