Oh my gosh.
3 attempts at making caramels in as many days.
The first time, I tried to make pecan caramels, and when I went to cut the pieces, I discovered that the candy was rock hard.
...is the sound it made hitting the bottom of the trash can.
The second time, something went HORRIBLY WRONG, and I ended up with a grainy caramel sauce.
Down the drain that monstrosity went.
So today (well, yesterday, as it's 2 AM as I'm writing this) I decided to spend money on a digital thermometer (I had a simple dial one before) before I wasted any more sugar and cream.
And guess what....
I figured I had temperature issues, but I'm just glad I finally figured it out, because now I can experiment.
I really wanted to get this right,because I've been neglecting this poor poor blog,and I needed SOMETHING to tell y'all.
Anyway, onto pictures and the recipe.
The various stages of the caramel.
Dad begrudgingly helping me cut caramels. :P
SO MANY PICTURES :D
Smoked Sea Salt Caramels:
2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp salt (regular table salt)
4 tbs butter
and a couple tablespoons of flaky sea salt for decoration (I used smoked, but you can use any kind, really)
Prepare either an 8x8 or 9x9 pan (depends on how thick you want them) by lightly coating it in nonstick spray, and then placing a long strip of parchment paper in the bottom (like in my picture)
Put the sugar, corn syrup, table salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream + 1/2 cup of the milk into a heavy pot.
Stir this constantly over medium heat until it boils.
Once it boils, and the rest of the cream and milk in a really really thin stream (If you dump it all in, it'll lower the temperature too quickly, and you'll have to wait for it to get back up to a boil again).
Reduce the head to medium-low and boil for about 5 minutes. DON'T STIR IT.
Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring the mixture to help it melt.
Clip your thermometer to the side of the pot at this point.
Continue to boil it, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
While this is happening, take a wet pastry brush and wet down the sides of the pan to prevent those pesky seed crystals from dropping in and ruining your caramel.
I really hope you have a reliable thermometer, but if you don't, check the caramel, by dropping a bit into ice cold water. When you pick it up, if it's a ball that holds it's shape, but does give when you press it, it's ready. If it's hard...well, you've gone too far :(
Anyhoo, this should take about 30 minutes. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up higher to make it faster, it's really easy to burn caramel (I should know >___>)
Once it's at 250, pour the caramel into the pan, but don't scrape the sides into the pan. Let it cool for 4 hours and then cut with an oiled knife, press into the salt (put in on a plate) and wrap. :D
Now try not to give yourself cavities :P
Tuesday, February 2
Oh my gosh.