Sanctified

Although they look the same, one of these jars contains burnt caramel, and the other is delicious.

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I found this recipe on Bake Like a Pro. It took 6 tries before I got it to work. It’s about as much fun as making fudge. It seemed like a really simple recipe but I had a lot of trouble getting this right.

Time required: 4 hours  (1 hour of actual work)

Yields: about one cup

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $14

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 TBSP water
  • ⅓ C butter (cold)
  • ½ C heavy cream (room temp)

Instructions:

1. Add sugar, salt, and water to sauce pot, tilt pot to moisten the sugar. A ring of sugar crystals will form but pay it no mind.

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2. Heat on Low, occasionally tilting the pot, until all the sugar has dissolved and it starts to simmer. The mixture will have soapey-looking bubbles.

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This takes forever and is really boring. Don’t leave your stove. I ruined the first batch that way.

Eventually it reaches full boil and the colour will subtly shift to gold. This part took about 25 minutes before I noticed the colour change. When you tilt the pot, a delightful aroma wafts up now.

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3. After about 6 minutes it will darken to orange. This is the part where it is caramelizing and developing a flavour. You don’t want to yank it off the heat too soon but you also don’t want it to darken to deep copper or it’s burnt at that point.

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(I let it cook for 2 more minutes then removed from heat.)

4. Add cold butter and stir until completely melted.

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5. Add warm cream and stir until thoroughly mixed.

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6. Return to stove on Low, it took about 7 minutes to get back to a boil. I let it go for about 2 minutes then removed from heat.

7. Cool on counter 30 minutes. (On batch 3, I only cooled it 20 min and ran into temperature shock where the fat separated.)

8. A skim formed. Strained into mason jar and took it outside to admire because it was so pretty.

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9. Chill at least one hour and it will thicken up.

Verdict: FINALLY! I am too tired and hot to temper chocolate tonight, but I have liquid caramel. Stay tuned for what this goes inside.

Playlist: Nine Inch Nails

The big come down

Round 5 was doing so well. I thought I had it. Alas; it’s burnt and tastes vile. I sense I am almost there. This time the fat didn’t separate, and it has the right consistency. Am going to try one more time today. Focusing on: I have made caramel sauce. It doesn’t taste good, but it is caramel sauce.

There is a stage when the sugar is boiling, it takes on a golden tint, which quickly deepens and goes through several shades of orange before it attains a rich coppery red. Which is where I stopped. And that is too far. At this point it’s already burnt.

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Still not the caramel you are looking for

This is a classic case of denial. For two minutes it smelled like caramel. Then it changed. I ignored my olfactory senses and plowed ahead. Put it in a nice mason jar. Put it in the fridge. Ate a spoonful later. Which tasted about as good as what you’d imagine scorched caramel to taste like.

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Ugh I am so pissed off. I had it. It was golden and heavenly. And then that happened.

 

This is not the caramel you are looking for

Five minute caramel my ass.

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Was going to try making a better filled chocolate tonight after work. My caramel would have time to firm up in the fridge. If I had caramel. What I have is the reeking results of scorched sugar and a smoke detector freaking out and terrified cats. That’s what I have.

Chocolate fudge fail

Blast. I was really looking forward to this. How disappointing.

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This recipe comes from Old Tyme Fudge. I love that website. I’m pretty sure it’s a great recipe and I screwed up. Phooey.

I wrote up this post last night after I put the fudge sludge in the pan. So, just pretend it set and follow along.

Before you get started: Have you read my fudge guide? I have done this successfully before, I swear.

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Time required: 8.5 hours (about 1 hour of actual doing stuff)

Yields: about 30 pieces

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $34.

Cost per piece: $1.14

Kitchen implements I used:

  • KitchenAid mixer
  • 8″ square pan
  • tin foil
  • heavy-bottomed sauce pan (2.2 qt size is not big enough)
  • silicon spatula
  • lots of extra spoons

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Callebaut Belgian chocolate)
  • 3 C sugar
  • 2 TBSP corn syrup
  • 1¼ C milk
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

1. Line the square pan with foil and grease it. Also grease the entire inside of the sauce pan, all the way up the sides. Grease the flat beater of the mixer too.

2. Chop the chocolate and melt on Low heat until smooth.

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3. Combine everything in the sauce pan except the butter and the vanilla.  Heat on Medium, stirring constantly.

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And definitely using a bigger pot next time.

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4. Once mixture boils, reduce heat to Med-Low and STOP STIRRING. Insert candy thermometer.

Yikes. This is almost disaster territory. Perhaps this was a portent of things to come.

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5. Once mixture reaches 238°F / 114°C, remove from heat.

6. Carefully place pot into cold water bath. Add butter but DO NOT STIR.

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7. Let it cool (it only took 30 min this time) until temp falls to 120°F / 49°C.

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Once the mixture has cooled to this stage, there will be a skim on top, just ignore it. Transfer to mixing bowl and pour in the vanilla.

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8. Beat it. How long? Who knows.

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I planned to do 28 minutes on speed 2 which worked great for my penuche batch, but after 13 minutes it has acquired “that frosting look” which I’ve read about before.

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9. Pour into prepared pan and smooth, let sit at least 4 hours.

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10. Lift out of pan and score the top with a knife, then slice into squares.

What’s this what’s this?!

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Argh!!

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God, no! That is never a good sign. Fudge shouldn’t rise with the knife.

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Verdict: It tastes delicious but is a failure. Supposedly fudge is ready to be poured once it looks like frosting. Whoever said that can go directly to hell and not pass go. I will freeze this until I figure out what to do with it. I’ll try this again soon, stay tuned.

Playlist: 46 albums of Sailor Moon music!

All about fudge

Prepare to get schooled. I’ve added four how-to guides, all devoted to fudge. If you have never made fudge, or your fudge never turns out, this is for you. It’s written for the total newbie, and explains the science of good fudge making, how to actually beat it successfully, and the common problems that ruin fudge.

Fudge 101 – introduction to fudge

Fudge 102 – fudge for newbs

Fudge 201 – beating fudge

Fudge 202 – it’s all over but the crying

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What are you waiting for? Get fudging.