Friday, December 25, 2009

Lou's Most Excellent Complexity Syrup

Simple syrup = 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water.

Complex syrup = see below.

It's complex but incredibly simple. This is a variation on the syrup used in the LME Poached Pear recipe but is likely more versatile.

Reason being is that you start with a sweet(er) wine.

I used this as a base for some whip cream tossed with strawberries. Quarter your berries and whip up the cream just before you get stiff peaks - you want to avoid stiff peaks here. Add about a TBS of Complex Syrup per ½ cup of cream whipped and gently mix in. Toss in the berries and you have a fantastic dessert. You can also use this:

- On other fruits
- As a sub for balsamic vinegar in salads
- On a cheese plate to complement heavy, stinky cheeses

3 cups red, sweet dessert wine (Port, etc.)
1 cup cold water
3 TBS honey
1 bay leaf
6 cloves
1 TBS whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
2 TSP fresh ground nutmeg

Add all the ingredients to a small pot and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Once there, reduce heat to medium and gently boil until the contents have half evaporated.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into another pot. Bring back to a boil like before, then reduce to medium.

Once the liquid is nearly 80% reduced, keep an eye on it as it may erupt out of the pot. If this is happening, it means you're almost done so turn down the heat to medium-low. Reduce further until it's almost all foamy. When you remove it from the heat you should have a syrup left, and only about 3 TBS.

Cool prior to use. A little goes a long way too.

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