Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Perfect Caramels, More Knitting, and...

More reversible cable scarves. Once I get going, it's hard for me to stop. This pattern is being tested now and will be available by June 7th in my Etsy store. I expect to have a few more reversible cables designed before the end of the year so stay tuned, you might find something you really like.

In my mission to find the perfect caramel recipe, I think I finally did it. Aren't they pretty? They taste really good too. So here is the recipe which I borrowed from and tweaked a little bit.....

Perfect Caramels

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rum flavor
1 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes

1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and run flavor in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil.

3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.

4. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 degrees.

5. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees.

6. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 235-244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
7. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it into the prepared pan. Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. Allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture.

8. When you are ready to cut the caramel, place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel.

9. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray. Firmly cut into the caramels, creating 1” squares. Wipe the blade and re-spray as necessary.

10. Wrap the squares in waxed paper. The caramels will gradually spread and lose their square shape if not wrapped soon after cutting. Alternately, you can dip them in chocolate once they are cut.

11. Store the caramels at room temperature for up to two weeks.

....And finally, I enjoyed my first walk home from work of the season. I love it because I find such beautiful things on the way. I knew from last year that I would find some interesting things, and so I brought my camera so that I could share them with you.