Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fleur de sel caramels

 I've always wanted to make caramels.  I love salted caramels and I finally had the time to give it a try this week.  Absolutely delicious!


  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon, plus more for topping
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Makes 36 Caramels.
  1. Lightly butter an 8-inch square metal baking pan. Line the bottom and 4 sides of the pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang the rim on all sides by about 2 inches. (The overhang will be used as "handles" to remove the caramel slab from the pan.)
  2. In a saucepan, bring the cream, butter, and salt to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often until the butter melts. Remove from the heat.
  3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring just until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan by its handle and wiping down any sugar crystals that form on the sides with a natural bristle brush dipped in cold water, for about 6 minutes, or until the syrup is dark golden brown-about the color of a new penny. The syrup should have a slightly acrid aroma, and a whiff of smoke should rise from the surface.
  4. Gradually and carefully add the hot cream mixture-it will bubble up-to the caramel. When the bubbles subside, clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the temperature reaches 245° to 250°F (firm-ball stage). Remove the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let stand until tepid, about 30 minutes.
  6. Using an oiled chef's knife, score the top of the candy into 36 equal portions. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt into the center of each portion, and press with your finger to help it adhere. Let cool completely, 3 to 4 hours.
  7. Lift up the paper handles to remove the caramel slab in a single piece. Peel away the parchment paper. Using the oiled knife, cut the caramel through the scores into 36 individual pieces. Wrap each caramel in a square of waxed paper, twisting the ends to seal. The caramels can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 1 week.

  • Do not stir the syrup until the butter and cream are added.
  • Wash down any crystals that form on the inside of the saucepan with a natural-bristle brush dipped in cold water.
  • Judge caramel by color and aroma, not with a candy thermometer.
  • Add vanilla extract to hot mixtures after they are finished cooking

Bookmark and Share

  • Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Chicken Marsala for two!

    Wow I found a great Chicken Marsala recipe that makes just the right amount for two.  It's DELICIOUS!

    1 ounce clarified butter or oil to fry
    1 double breast of chicken
    2 ounces flour (for dusting)
    2 ounces sliced button mushrooms (or shiitake, Portobello)
    3 pieces of scallion (diced)
    4 ounces sweet Marsala wine
    1 teaspoon beef base
    2 ounces heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 minced shallot

    1. Add oil to hot pan, sauté chicken.

    2. Remove chicken, add Marsala, light and flambé. When flame disappears, add mushrooms, scallions, garlic, and shallot.

    3. Sauté until mushrooms are tender.

    4. Add beef base, simmer. Add cream and simmer. Whisk in butter and add chicken. Simmer one minute or so and serve.


    Bookmark and Share

  • Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Beignet Recipe

    So sorry I've neglected this blog for so long, but I'm back with a very special recipe.  If you've never had a beignet you are in for a real treat.

    Makes 24-30 beignets
    ¾ cup milk
    ¼ cup shortening (like Crisco)
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus an extra pinch
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
    ¼ cup warm water (about 90 degrees)
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    vegetable oil for frying
    1 cup confectioner's sugar for garnish

    1. In a small saucepan, combine milk, shortening, granulated sugar and salt. Heat just until shortening melts and sugar and salt dissolve. Cool to room temperature.

    2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Set aside until yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes.

    3. To mixer bowl, add cooled milk-shortening mixture, egg and vanilla. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, mix on low speed to combine. Add 1 cup of flour and mix on low speed to combine. Add 2 ¼ cups flour, switch to the dough hook and mix to combine. Knead on medium speed 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, if needed, to make the dough clean the sides of the bowl.

    4. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

    5. Heat 2" of oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees. Punch dough down and divide into four pieces. On a floured surface, roll one piece out to a ¼" thickness. Cut dough into 2" squares. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Fry squares in batches, until golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Dust immediately with confectioner's sugar.

    Bookmark and Share