Do you have a sweet tooth and looking for something sweet right after you finish your meal? Welcome to the club then. This is a strange situation making you search for a few candies or gulp down a full spoon of jam if you do not have a chocolate emergency kit for such cases. Even if you are full up, this craving monster finds its way out and cannot calm down until you find yourself scarfing down some sugary bites with a few hundred extra calories.
Various researches have been conducted to understand this human behavior up to now and ended up with a well known underlying reason: brain chemicals. What I mean by brain chemicals is the hormone called serotonin which affects our mood and making us feel happy and content. The lack of this hormone causes more sugar intake so as to compensate and to feel better. Another interesting finding is that our well known stress hormone, adrenalin, makes us crave for sweets. It takes sugar out of liver and releases it into our blood to make us ready for the fight; literally adrenalin arranges our body for such physical activities. That’s why we feel stronger when we are angry.
The funny thing is that most of the time there is no fight; modern life is all about mental stress rather than the physical one which means chances are so little to take out the hidden Mike Tyson within you. However our hormones do not know the difference. Dealing with your aggressive boss or fighting on a box ring triggers the same mechanism. Only difference is that the former case does not help you spend any calories, you got stressed while sitting at your desk and right after stress is gone your body starts craving for sugar to replace the amount stolen from your liver. The essence of story is that feel comfortable to blame your boss for your everyday growing belly. What a relief!
I was about to follow a simple yet delicious Turkish recipe, pumpkin dessert (if you are a regular follower you may also remember that I promised to share this in my spicy pumpkin soup post). As soon as the pumpkins were cooked, a sort of sweet craving captured me and I found myself tempted with the idea of a butterscotch sauce. Aside from the sauce it is a well-known recipe from Turkish cuisine, traditionally garnished with walnuts. Some also like to add a dollop of skimming or heavy cream on top to turn this humble fruit dessert into a feast.
As for my recipe, I changed the way it is served and fixed pumpkin cubes on a skewer to make it easier to dip in the infatuating butterscotch-rum sauce I prepared. Believe me this sauce is divine; I couldn’t help spooning the sauce before taking these photos. I was afraid to lose my self-control and to gobble up half of it while standing in front of the stove. Probably this would be my last craving before I went into a sugar coma. So it is highly recommended to eat responsibly, I am serious.
Once you make the butterscotch-rum sauce ready, indulge with the pumpkin dessert and walnuts. Do not forget to put the blame on your boss right after getting your treat, nevertheless it’s all related with office stress, nothing to do with your appetite! I know, I know…
Ingredients (makes 8-10 servings)
For pumpkin dessert
- 800g (28 oz) cubed pumpkin (hard outer parts should be taken out by a knife at first and pumpkin cubes should be with similar sizes)
- 150g (5.25 oz) sugar
- 2 cloves (optional)
For butterscotch-rum sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 100ml heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar beet /cane syrup
- 4 teaspoons light rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For pumpkin dessert
|1.||Transfer cubed pumpkins into a large saucepan and pour the sugar all over.|
|2.||Add two cloves to the saucepan (this step is optional)|
|3.||Place the saucepan on low heat and close its lid.|
|4.||At the end of every 5 minutes shake the saucepan to blend pumpkins with melting sugar, if you prefer to use a wooden spoon be very gentle not to smash them.|
|5.||Cook until the pumpkins are tender then set aside to cool down.|
For butterscotch-rum sauce
|1.||Put the butter in a heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan and melt it over medium heat.|
|2.||Add brown sugar and stir with a spoon until the sugar looks like wet sand.|
|3.||Combine the sugar beet/cane syrup and stir frequently till the caramelizing brown sugar looks more like a boiling viscous liquid (takes 4-5 minutes)|
|4.||Add all the cream and lower heat, stir continuously with a whisk until they are well blended.|
|5.||Increase the heat to medium and cook until the liquid starts boiling while stirring frequently. This will take around 10 minutes. Keep the sauce on the heat for an additional 2 minutes after it starts boiling.|
|6.||Remove from heat. When the sauce gets warm add rum, vanilla extract and salt, whisk well. Taste the sauce and add more salt or vanilla extract according to your preference.|
Fix pumpkin cubes on skewers and serve with a small bowl of butterscotch sauce and a few walnuts on the plate.