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Archive for December, 2013

Sea Salt Caramels

ImageHere is a great recipe for Caramels that you can sprinkle with sea salt or coat them in chocolate then coat them with a sprinkle of sea salt. Either way they taste great and won’t last very long.

2 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 cup of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Light Corn Syrup
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (Cubed and at room temperature)
Flaked Sea Salt for finishing

Line a 9″ x 9″ pan with aluminum foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. In a saucepan combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, and salt.  Over a medium heat bring the mixture to a boil.  Then remove it from the heat and cover it to keep it warm. In a large 4 quart pot combine the water, corn syrup and sugar. Place the pot on a medium to high heat, stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves, bring it to a boil and avoid stirring. Brush down the sides of the pot with water to avoid the mixture from crystallizating. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 250 degrees. Once the temperature is reached add the butter and the warm cream mixture. Mix carefully stirring everything together. At this point stir frequently to avoid scorching until the mixture reached 245 degrees. This should take 30 minutes and forming a brown carmel color. Pour the carmel into the prepared pan, but don’t scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the carmel sit overnight, remove from the pan and peel off the foil. Use a large knife to cut the carmel to your desire size and coat in chocolate or just sprinkle with sea salt. . Wrap in wax paper that has been cut to size and twist the ends. Keep your caramels in and air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

If your carmel came out to soft or hard it is possible to re-cook them. They may end up a little darker but with a better texture. Simply place the carmel back into a large pot with 1/2 cup water and re-heat to 245 degrees

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Almond Toffee

This Toffee is packed with toasted almonds and layered in chocolate.

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2 1/2 cups of whole raw almonds
1 cup unsalted butter (cubed)
1/2 cup of warm water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 cup dark chocolate (chopped)

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the almonds on the prepared pan and toast in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until they are a light golden brown. When cooled take 1 cup of the nuts and finely chop them in a food processor. Remove the rest of the nuts and place off to the side and re-line the sheet pan with aluminum for and this time spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    Place the cubed butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until it has melted, add the water, sugar, salt and corn syrup.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved, brush down the sides of the pan with water to help avoid sugar crystals. Bring to a boil and insert the candy thermometer. Continue to cook until the candy reaches 240 degrees, then add the whole almonds and stir. Continue to cook until the candy reaches 295 degrees. Pour the candy onto the prepared pan and smooth out to an even layer. Let it cool at room temperature for 5 minutes, then sprinkle half the chocolate onto the candy. Allow it to melt for a minute then spread it over the candy surface. Sprinkle half the chopped nuts onto the melted chocolate and press slightly to help them adhere to the chocolate. Refrigerate the sheet pan to set the chocolate for about 25 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and flip the toffee over by releasing it from the foil. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave, then spread the chocolate onto the candy surface and sprinkle with the remaining nuts. Refrigerate once again for 25 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and break apart into small edible pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks
   

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Carrot Cake

This is a carrot cake I just made for the lady’s at Bingo here in FloridaImage

Carrot cake is especially moist because it is made with oil. Oil unlike butter, remains liquid at room temperature, so the cake stays moist even when cool. Your carrot cake can contain walnuts, raisins or even pineapple, to avoid nut allergies I made this one without the nuts and pineapple. The carrots are best when grated on a box grater. Using the smallest teeth on a grater is best, no one likes chunks of carrot in their cake.

I used a Flexible mold from Sasa Demarle called the charlotte in this recipe. These flexible molds are great for individual desserts, check it out at http://www.demarleusa.com. They have a wide selection of molds to choose from and best of all they never need a release coating such as oil coating or flour.

2 to 3 medium carrots peeled and grated
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup raisins
If your using a loaf pan (5″ x 7″ x 3″) make sure you butter and flour the pan 

Frosting (Filling)
One 8-ounce package of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your loaf pan.

      In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and salt then sift into a large bowel. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (oil and egg) then stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in the raisins.
Transfer the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30 to 55 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Rest the loaf on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour.
      To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat at a medium speed for approximately 10 minutes until smooth. Spread the frosting on the top of your loaf after it has completely cooled. 
On my carrot cake I removed the center of the molded cake with a cupcake cutter (Made by Wilton to fill the center of cupcakes) and then I filled the center of the carrot cake with frosting. I also made small carrots from colored chocolate for that special eye appeal.

ENJOY!

 

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