stephmodo: A Grownup Sundae Bar + a Birthday Concert

A Grownup Sundae Bar + a Birthday Concert

• 11 April 2012

Remember this "real life home"?  The farmhouse-style beach home set off the Puget Sound?  Well lucky enough for my sister, this was the backdrop for her recent birthday party.  For the event she asked a couple of her musically-talented friends to put on a little concert, complete with a sing-along finale--it was so much fun!  I've never been to a birthday party that was quite like it and I appreciated the new experience.  I do feel that attending/making/cooking/creating something beyond your usual makes life more interesting and full.  Also, I continue to admire those that can stand up in front of other people, even strangers, and share their talents.  So amazing to me!  

For dessert I helped her put together a gourmet sundae bar.  We offered the classic toppings (berries, bananas, hot fudge, whipped cream, etc.), plus a few surprises like frozen cookie dough balls (using this fabulous cookie recipe), gray sea salt brownies and fleur de sel caramel sauce (recipe below!).  Guests seem to really enjoy the unexpected components and I'm already planning my own gig complete with a gourmet sundae bar.  Such a fun idea for a party!

Steph's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

Note: through some mishaps, I discovered that technique is extremely important when it comes to making caramel sauce.  So what that means is follow the directions below very carefully as caramel is quite sensitive!  Also, this recipe can be doubled easily.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel

1.  Combine the sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Without stirring (very important!), cook the mixture until dark amber in color, swirling the pan carefully while cooking, about 20 minutes.  Make sure you stay close to the stove to avoid burning the mixture.  

2.  Reduce the heat to low.  Pour the vanilla extract into the cream.  Then, very slowly, add the cream/vanilla mixture to the amber sugar/water mixture, stirrig carefully with a wooden spoon.  Remove the pan from the stove.  

3.  Add in butter and fleur de sel.  Stir until the butter is fully incorporated.  

4.  Use immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.  

images by me


  1. My friend Lori visited France and brought me back a small bag of fleur de sel, I've been trying to make it last as long as possible! This recipe looks like the perfect vehicle for my fleur de sel! Thanks for sharing, I always love a good caramel sauce recipe!

  2. Oooh…might need to incorporate these ideas into my birthday plans this year.

  3. You always out-do yourself. :) This looks like a glorious party, I'm such a fan of anything salted caramel!

  4. Oh my amazing. I'm DROOLING at that brownie picture!

  5. What a FANTASTIC birthday idea-- sounds like a blast and with that menu--who wouldn't enjoy every moment?

  6. Amber, I promise it's well worth it!

    Rachel, Liz & Molly, I would make you some if I could...

    Melanie & Carrie--a great idea indeed--it was all Cher! She came up with it and I thought it turned out well. Her friends were fantastic...super talented.

    Emily, I'm not sure I outdid myself (my sister did though!) but thanks for thinking so anyway! I was grateful to be a part of it in a small way :)

  7. I made this sauce tonight with homemade vanilla ice cream and WOW! Thanks for the great recipe.

  8. Andrea, I am so happy to hear that! Wahoo!


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