Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not so soft caramels...

So there are those recipes you can tweak here and there. You can oops a little here and there and it’s OK. Add a dash of this or that. Boil a tad longer, a little less, perhaps a little hotter than you should.
This is NOT that recipe.
It’s possible with this recipe I let the first round of cooking go a tad too hot. I swear I turned around for only a few minutes. Usually when I’m trying to get things up to temp it takes an eternity – not so this time. So my suggestion – keep an eye on the thermometer at all times.
My caramels turned out a tad different then the soft caramels this recipe promised. They were hard but then would ooze into each other. All who ate them said they were excellent. Next time – pay more attention.

Apple Cider Caramels
What you need!
2 cup high-quality apple cider
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup real butter, cubed

Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for about 20 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 c. Keep an eye on it...it might try to run away. Set aside to cool.
Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1" hanging over the edges for easy removal. Coat with a bit of vegetable oil and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.
Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees.
Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Cut the caramels into 1/2" squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper. If your caramels won’t cut – stick the whole brick in a bag and bang away with a hammer. Enjoy!

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