Chocolate Caramel Slice

Even though we’re Jewish, it’s impossible to ignore all of the Halloween in the air! That means tons of candy and treats for the kids. For my kid, it’s homemade candy; so if you want to make a special homemade treat, give this recipe a try! And if you can find the correct sized tart pan, buy one for me. I’ll pay you back.

When I saw the photo of this candy/dessert in my friend Daniella’s Bon Appetit Desserts book, I KNEW I had to buy the book right away. And I did, thanks to the Amazon app on my iPhone. Then I bookmarked way too many desserts and put this one off for a little while. I’m glad I came back to it. It was actually quite easy, and I had all the ingredients in my pantry except for the sweetened condensed milk. That’s easy to find in the supermarket. Oh, golden syrup is great. If you don’t have it, you can use corn syrup, but I don’t like to use corn syrup. I find Lyle’s golden syrup in the regular supermarket, but if you can’t find it, try AmazonContinue reading

Roasted Figs With Caramel Sauce

What do you do when you have (what feels like) millions of figs on your tree? You eat as many as you can, obviously. And then you give a couple bunches away. And then you eat some more. But when you get sick of eating them raw, you have to think of other stuff to do with them. In the past, we made jam (yum!), but we wanted to do something different now. Like roasting them. And then we looked through How Easy Is That? and saw that Ina has a recipe for roasted figs with caramel sauce! We LOVE caramel. So of course we had to try this recipe out, and aren’t we glad that we did! Continue reading

Burnt Caramel Pudding

Happy Chol Hamoed! You’re probably stuffed, but I think you can make room for some dessert:

I’ve been known to browse the internet for hours, reading recipes and adding them to my ever-growing Things To Make list. Most things are on that list forever for a long time, but not this recipe!

Right after I read this recipe, I was invited to a friend for Shabbat lunch, and excitedly replied, “I’ll bring dessert, hope you’re serving dairy!” She confirmed that she planned on a dairy lunch, and I didn’t stop talking about this pudding all week. Poor David. Continue reading

Caramel Ice Cream

Caramel is one of my favorite ice cream toppings. I also love it in coffee and in candies. I just love caramel! So when I saw a recipe for caramel ice cream, I knew I had to try it. This is actually one of the best ice creams I have ever made (and we make a lot of ice cream around here). It was rich and creamy. Definitely had a great caramel flavor, and with some caramel sauce mixed in and salty peanuts on top, my friends thought it was gourmet ice cream.

The thing about making amazingly creamy ice cream is that you need a lot of egg yolks. That doesn’t mean you’re going to waste the egg whites, it just means you’re going to have to do some more baking. How about some meringues, pavlovas, or angel food cake? You’re also going to need an ice cream maker.

Side note: has anyone seen the new Cuisinart ice cream maker? How different is it than the older version that we have?

Caramel ice cream, adapted from Thomas Keller:

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups warm whole milk
  • 2 cups warm heavy cream
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Make sure your freezer bowl is in the freezer.

2. Put 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan and add the water. Stir to moisten the sugar so that it resembles wet sand.

3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the sugar melts into a rich amber color. If any sugar crystallizes to the sides of the pan, use a wet pastry brush to brush it off.

4. Remove from heat and slowly add the milk and cream. If they are warm, the caramel should dissolve. If not, add back to the heat and stir to dissolve the caramel.

5. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl until slightly thickened.

6. While whisking, add 1/2 cup of the hot liquid to the eggs, then add the remaining liquid.

7. Set a mesh sieve over a saucepan and strain the liquid into the pan.

8. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over medium heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon.

9. Pour into bowl and refrigerate until cold, preferably overnight.

10. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Place in freezer to harden.

Candied Peanuts

Mmm, peanuts. Mmm, caramel. Well here we have the best of both worlds in what has to be the easiest candy I have ever made! It gives the flavor of peanut brittle (I’ll share that recipe with you soon, I promise) but can be thrown together without a thermometer and pretty much three ingredients. Make this the next time your friends come over, you won’t be sorry. It would also be a great hostess gift. My friends and family like it when I bring baked goods, but when I bring candy, they go crazy.

I have a confession to make. These peanuts are not supposed to be clumped together. Each individual peanut was supposed to be covered in hardened caramel. I was devastated when I took these off the fire, perhaps a few seconds too late. Then I tasted them, and that feeling went away fast. They’re awesome! So don’t worry if you make a mistake. You’ll probably like these anyway (what’s not to like?).

Never made candy before? Don’t fuss! This is the perfect place to start. You’re still boiling and bubbling sugar (see above), you’re still adding the nutty peanut, you’re just not messing with fussy crystallizing sugars and candy thermometers. Not that we don’t love those, but they’re not great for first timers. The only thing you need to be careful of with this recipe is stirring. Keep on stirring. Don’t stop. I know this is easy: three(ish) ingredients and one pan, but that caramel can burn if it’s not moved around enough. Have you ever tried cleaning burning caramel off the sides of a pot? I have; it’s not so fun, trust me. Pay attention and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get this right the first time.

If you’re confused by the instructions, don’t fear! That’s why we have everything broken up into short steps. That’s why we have pictures of each step. It’s easy, I promise! Now try it. You definitely won’t regret it. The people you share it with will love you forever.

Candied peanuts, adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Kosher or sea salt (amount depends on the saltiness of your peanuts)

Directions:

1. In a large tall-sided saute pan, add peanuts, sugar, and water.

2. Turn heat to medium and stir the peanuts with the sugar and water. The sugar should dissolve into the water. The water will start bubbling. Continue stirring.

3. Keep stirring. The water should evaporate slowly.

4. Keep stirring. When there’s no more water, you will notice that it looks kind of sandy and is getting harder to stir. The caramel is light in color. Lower the heat slightly and stir until it is dark.

5. Keep stirring, scraping caramel from the bottom and coating each and every peanut in it. Tilt the pan away from the fire as you stir to regulate the heat.

6. Sprinkle with cayenne and salt.

7. Using a spatula, scrape the peanuts onto a silicone covered baking sheet. Flatten as much as possible and let cool. [See picture below. I didn't do a great part flattening this. Next time I'll use a baking sheet to flatten from the top - the peanuts are very hard to break these apart if they're not in a single layer.]

7. When cool, break apart peanuts (I used my hands, but you can use a mallet if you want smaller pieces)

Salted Butter Caramels, Take 2

And here’s the second recipe for caramel candies (to see the first one, click here), from the archives of Gourmet magazine. I found they took longer to make than the first recipe, but maybe that’s because I made them second and was already standing around the kitchen for too long. Continue reading

Salted Butter Caramels, Take 1

I know I should have posted these before Shavuot so you could impress your hosts with homemade candy (yes, these have to be dairy), but I didn’t have much time to upload pictures and write down the recipes because I was busy wrapping 97 individual caramels. That’s right, 97…so making caramels was fun and my house smelled like a candy store (which may be better than smelling like a bakery, I’m not sure yet), but next time I’m going to invite some friends over to wrap them with me. Continue reading

Old Fashioned Caramel Cake

I’m not sure why, but I decided that I wanted to make caramel cake to bring to my shabbat hosts. I was in a place with no internet, but luckily I have internet on my phone, so I quickly googled recipes for caramel cake.

There isn’t really anything caramel-y about the actual cake. It’s the frosting that’s caramel. Maybe I should change the name to Old Fashioned Caramel-Frosted Cake?

Milk and butter are very important parts of this cake, but I made it pareve. The caramel frosting was still rich and super-sweet, and the cake was nice and moist. Next time I will make it dairy and see how it turns out. Continue reading