… and I couldn’t just leave it to waste. Therefore I decided it time to sharpen up my candy making skills and make some caramel. First things let me point out that I seem to only want to make chocolate during the warmer months.
In school we have a temperature-controlled room to turn out and garnish candies. Although my condo has central air, cooking cream, sugar, butter, and flavoring until firm ball stage and higher really defeats the standard residential cooling system.
With the time, ingredients, and skill to make some pecan-loaded caramels, my personal comfort be damned!
Heavy saucepan (pot)
Heat resistant spoon
Buttered (or cooking sprayed) baking dish
Candy thermometer – yes, this necessary. Do not assume that your thermometer is perfectly calibrated. Test it periodically. Boil a pot of water. Insert thermometer and notice where it measures. It should stop at 212° F. If not, note how many degrees more or less. So if the thermometer stops at 209° F, you are 3 degrees short.
Sugar: 2 cups
Light Corn Syrup: 1/3 cup
Dark Corn Syrup: 1/3 cup
Heavy Cream: 1-1/3 cups
Unsalted Butter: 4 oz. (1 stick)
Vanilla Extract: 2 teaspoons
1. Butter or spray a pan. I prefer a 3 quart Pyrex dish.
2. Combine the sugar, corn syrups, and cream in a heavy saucepan.
3. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar completely dissolves.
|Heavy cream, sugar, and syrups|
4. Add thermometer and raise heat to medium high.
|Insert the candy thermometer|
|Let that baby boil. Don’t rush it.|
5. Cook the syrup to the firm-ball stage (244°F – 248°F).
6. Add the butter, stir until incorporated.
7. Remove pan from heat and flavor with vanilla extract.
8. Carefully into a prepared pan.
|It’s HOT!!! Sugar burns are bad.|
I just happened to have pecans and I just tossed them on.
Allow the caramel to set before cutting (about 2 hours at room temperature). Remove from the baking dish and place on a cutting board. After cutting up the cooled caramels into small squares. I melted some chocolate and chopped pecans. It was dipping time.
Here you have some caramels dipped in dark and others in white chocolates.
Lastly I wanted some old fashioned chocolate turtles. So I made some patties and dipped them in milk chocolate.