Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sweets for My Sweet

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey, these lyrics from the Drifters sum this up perfectly.

These caramels are soft and chewy, they can be cooked longer to make them harder.  I use  the microwave, mine is ancient so perhaps not as hot and efficient as the new models. it may not take as long to cook. The recipe can also be made in the conventional manner on the stove top. Place ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on a medium heat, although, you will need to take care not to burn it.  The caramels are very nice without the nuts and dipped into melted chocoloate.

Macadamia Caramels
125 g butter
1 can condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons liquid glucose

½ -1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 -2 cups macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped into halves

Line a tin with non stick baking paper. Place nuts evenly across the bottom of the tin. 

Put butter, condensed milk, brown sugar and glucose in a microwave suitable container.
I use a large pyrex jug with a handle or pyrex bowl although this is more difficult to handle.

Cook mixture on high for two minutes, whisk and cook a further two minutes, whisk, repeat two more times (total eight minutes). The mixture should be starting to boil rapidly and changing colour.

Continue cooking the caramel in one minute intervals stirring between each minute. The mixture should be a rich darkish brown and at soft ball stage.  If not, cook the caramel for a further minute. Test by dropping a teaspoon of mixture into a glass of cold water, the ball of mixture should sort of flatten out or use a thermometer to test.  It should reach about 115 deg c. Remove thermometer before returning mixture to microwave.

Using an oven mitt, carefully remove mixture from microwave. It will be very hot.

Add vanilla, stir well and carefully pour caramel into prepared tray and set aside until cool. When cool mark into squares. 

When completely cold cut the caramel into pieces and refrigerate in a single layer in an airtight container. 

Great when you need a little gift and want to take something you have made yourself. 

Use a cellophane bag tied with ribbon or a small tin for your gift.

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