Well - last night was a late one. My dishwasher was away camping (lol). Oliver was asleep ....and I was skiddling around in the kitchen. This was one of two projects - but I've yet to do the photos of the other, so that will need to wait.
I've been meaning to try making caramels for a while and it's one of those things I've just never got round to doing.
The recipe for this came from Allrecipes.com and was posted by Barbara. There were lots of positive and quite a number of negative views - a good number of people seemed to struggle to get the set they required. I boiled mine to 245 deg - it was perhaps a little too soft. I'll go a couple of deg more next time. I also reduced the butter content - so my tweaked version is below.
2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup golden syrup / corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint double cream
200g butter (salted)
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Add all ingredients to a very large, deep pot and bring to a steady boil. You will need a sugar thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature
Boil for approx 45 mins until the temperature reached 250deg (firm ball). I took mine off at 245 deg. My caramel set to soft and chewy - but was perhaps a smidging too soft.
I stupidly forgot to position the pan clip on my thermometer - so it's in the caramel ! I therefore used a silicone food rope / tie instead to rope it to the pot handle to keep it in place. Such handly little things. I use them for resealing various bags of nuts and dried fruit, bouquet garni as well as to hold together stuffed meat and fish.
Once ready, I poured my caramel into a silicone lasagne tray and a silicone 8" square brownie / fudge pan . Neither were greased. The original recipe calls for a 12 x 15" tray, well greased.
The next morning (or should we say 5 hours later...) I went to take my caramel from the moulds. I needed to run a blunt table knife round the top edge to free the caramel from the mould. I then inverted the mould and literally peeled out the caramel.
WARNING - this recipe makes a serious amount of caramel. If you cut it into large 1" square chunks, you will get approx 150 pieces. A 1" chunk is a substantial sized serving of this stuff.
I had enough to make 3 x gift boxes full, plus 4 gift bags (each bag had approx 15 bits) and more left over. This is ideal to do a good big batch for little home made Christmas gifts or hampers.
I made my gift box and bag above using some Kanban Butterfly card, Papermania Felt butterflies, silver flower brads, stick on jewels and some pink ribbon. I cut the heart out of the front and put some acetate behind
. For the boxes, I have a Crafters Companion Top Score Board which marks the lines and creates the box tops and bases to slot together. It's an invaluable bit of plastic !
Here is another of the gift boxes (click the image to enlarge) with more Kanban card, a stenciled butterfly, some flower embelishments and an enamelled brad.