For purists who prefer to make their own recipe components, I’ve developed what is to my knowledge the first and only browning liquid made with organic sugar. Browning liquid is useful for adding a rich brown color to gravies, soups, stews, seitan and TVP. This browning liquid has no added caramel color, nor does it have the sweet undertaste of commercial browning liquids.
For soups, gravies and stews use 1 teaspoon per 2 cups liquid. For seitan and TVP, use the amount specified in the recipe. This recipe yields about ⅓ cup browning liquid.
Warning: This recipe produces copious amounts of smoke. Do not attempt unless you have an overhead exhaust fan for your stove that vents outside!
• ¼ cup very hot water
• 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 T dark balsamic vinegar
• ½ cup organic sugar
In a small measuring cup, mix the very hot water, tamari and vinegar; set aside.
In a small saucepan, place the dry sugar over medium-low heat. The goal is to melt the dry sugar and bring it to a darkly caramelized stage (essentially burnt). Swirl or gently shake the saucepan back and forth occasionally as the sugar begins to melt but do not stir. Melting will take several minutes. Be sure to run an overhead stove exhaust fan as the sugar will produce smoke as it begins to burn. As the sugar continues to melt and darken, it will begin to rise in the saucepan. At this point, begin stirring gently with a wire whisk. When the sugar reaches a very dark brown color, reduce the heat to low.
Now, while whisking vigorously, add the broth mixture a little at a time to the melted sugar. The mixture will foam and sizzle, so don’t be alarmed. Very hot steam will also be released, so try to keep your hands back as you stir with the whisk to avoid steam burns. Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and then remove the saucepan from the heat to cool. Once cooled, the browning liquid will have a syrupy consistency.
The concentrated liquid will have a rather bitter, burnt flavor; however, when used in small amounts as recommended, it will add a beautiful brown color and enhance the flavor of your favorite recipes. Store the mixture in an airtight jar in your pantry; refrigeration is not necessary. Replace the mixture after 4 months.