Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oishii: Caramel Goodness

Are you someone who pronounces it "carmel" or do you properly elocute "caramel"? Well, whichever way you say it, it doesn't change that heavenly taste, does it? I experimented with making caramel for the first time on Father's Day. My chocolate-covered fleur de sel caramels didn't come out that pretty, but oh, they were so divine tasting!

Because my caramel was a bit soft (not quite sure what I did wrong?) I thought they might lend themselves better to making turtles. Brilliant!

Fleur de Sel Caramel Turtles
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (or so) of whole pecans|
1 bar of dark chocolate

Line the bottom of a cookie sheet or baking pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil.

In a deep saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color - avoid stirring by simply swirling the pan to mix. And be careful towards the end because it will burn quickly and you'll have to start over!

In the meantime, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

When the caramelized sugar is the right color, carefully add the cream mixture to the caramel (it will bubble up quite a bit). Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until somewhat firm.

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Meanwhile, arrange pecans on separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut caramel rounds and drape over pecans, then drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel if desired.

These beauties are crazy oishii, so you may want to give some away to some lucky people so you don't end up with a belly ache.

1 comment:

ginger said...

fyi, you can use honey or maple syrup in place of sugar and corn syrup in candy/caramel recipes.