Friday, August 31, 2012

Kitchen Adventures; Basil Salted Caramel

I was dreaming about making a caramel sauce for one of my cakes when it occurred to me that I had never made caramel and maybe I should give it a try. 

It was so so so much easier than I thought it would be, so I figured I could provide you some instructions. If y'all want, now everyone can make their own caramel. Easy peasy. 

Things you may or may not have in your house but will need to make caramel:

* candy thermometer
* larger saucepan than you think
* wooden spoon or fancy high temp spatula
* wax paper
* patience

Caramel components:

2 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. corn syrup
1 c. evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Put everything except the vanilla in your slightly larger than normal saucepan and melt it all together...and stir. 

and stir some more...

When it gets to about 200 degrees F, incorporate some yoga into your stirring. I did Tree Pose. You've been standing there stirring for a while, your right leg and then left leg could use a break. :)

This will help your legs, balance, and peace of mind because this is taking a lot longer than you thought it would.

Watch the thermometer, when it gets to 250, remove the caramel mixture from the heat and add your banilla.  The caramel will be thick and gooey and bubbly, and you will want to stick your fingers in it and eat it straight from the pan... please don't do that. That sh*t is twohundredandfifty degrees!

Your fingers won't like it, I promise.

Once the vanilla is all evenly mixed in, pour it into a big greased pan and let it hang out for a while to set.

It needs to cool before you can salt it, so you might want to keep yourself entertained with something other than caramel watching for about an hour.

I went for a jog. I was already in my yoga clothes anyway. ;)

When you come back, heavily sprinkle the salt of your choice and then put it in the fridge for a while. During this time you can eat dinner or make ice cream or both, which I did.

Once its cooled - and by cooled, I mean cold - cut it up into squares, use an offset spatula to peal them out, and wrap them up individually in wax paper to share...or keep for yourself in one-bite portions. :)

Now please take some of these off my hands. I can't eat them all.

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