Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I've been making chocolates for an event on Friday; amongst many other things, this week has been a bit manic and I'm suffering from a serious lack of sleep so I'll apologise now for making little or no sense. Anyway! Here's my salted caramels recipe, as that terribly nice Mr Povey asked for it and I figured that more people could be interested too.
First things first: you could do with a sugar thermometer or decent temperature gauge for this. If you don't have one it's not the end of the world, but it can help.
Ingredients: 600g (1 pint, more or less) of blue-top (full fat) milk. 140g double cream, 350g sugar, 250g glucose (or honey), 1 tsp vanilla extract or a split-and-scraped vanilla pod, 20g butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt. You can add more salt if you like; I tend to use a heaped teaspoon.
Put the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and stir on a low heat until everything has dissolved. Then add the glucose (or honey) and slowly bring to the boil. When the caramel reaches 110°C it should be starting to go brown - keep the heat quite low, so it doesn't scorch - so add the butter and gently stir until it melts in. At this point fish out the vanilla pod if you're using one. Boil away until it gets to at least 117°C, but - and this is a big but - test the caramel's texture. You do this by taking a teaspoon of the mixture and dropping it into a bowl of iced water; if the caramel forms a soft ball that can hold it's shape for a couple of seconds, then it's ready. Depending on your milk/cream/sugar this can be at any point between 117 and 130°C.
When it's ready, a good golden caramel colour, add the salt, stir and pour into a baking tin lined with baking parchment.
As it cools it should do a decent job of solidifying, so you can start to mark out squares in the caramels. When it has set - and this might take overnight - you can then dip the resultant squares in melted, tempered dark chocolate and sprinkle with a few sea salt flakes.