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

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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 avocado pudding

I know. It sounds weird. But it’s strangely delicious.

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I found this recipe in a book called Healthy Desserts, there is no author listed but the byline says Culinary Notebooks. I got it at Chapters.

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Time required: 1.5 hours

Yields: 3-4 puddings

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $24

Cost per pudding: $6

Kitchen implements I used:

  • food processor
  • ramequins

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • ½ C cocoa
  • ⅔ C honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash of coarse sea salt

Instructions:

1. Peel and pit the avocados, and use a butter knife to gently separate the peel from the fruit. I fumbled one and dropped half an avocado on the floor so I didn’t have enough. Curse and scream as desired.

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2. Puree until smooth, and add everything except the salt. Mix well.

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During the taste test it was way too bitter so I doubled the amount of honey from ⅓C to ⅔C which improved things dramatically, however I find it now tastes a bit too honeyed. Foiled again.

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3. Spoon into ramequins and sprinkle with sea salt.

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5. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

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Verdict:

“Here, try it.”

“No thank you.”

“You… don’t want it? Why not??”

“You said it was bitter!”

“That was before I added more honey! Try it. Before my feelings are hurt.”

“Okay… it tastes… like chocolate pudding.”

“But do you like it?”

“It tastes like chocolate pudding.”

“So that’s a yes?”

Playlist: Bat for Lashes – Siren Song

Strawberries and cream

Yes, it’s officially too hot to do anything else besides make whipped cream. Toronto is under a heat and smog alert, but I, dear reader, ventured forth into that humid desert to find some strawberries and heavy cream, to make the only thing I could think of which doesn’t involve using the stove.

Making whipped cream is so easy, only a total twit could screw it up. (I’ve screwed it up before.)

Pour heavy cream into a chilled bowl.  Turn the mixer on, gradually increasing to full speed, and within moments, voila! Boyfriend likes to add vanilla and sugar, but I didn’t add anything. (It’s also too hot to be creative today. )

Whip the hell out of it in your awesome mixer. Go Nemo go!!

And once the cream reaches the desired consistency (like 40 seconds or something ridiculously short like that), it’s ready!

Hopefully you have somebody you can convince to wash, dry, and hull the berries for you.

And enjoy!

Yum. I think I am going to make strawberry shortcake next time.

After we ate some berries, I decided the time was ripe to convince Boyfriend that we really need the ice cream maker attachment for Nemo. There are people who accessorize their home, and there are people who accessorize their pets. I just want to accessorize my beautiful appliance. Did I succeed? Stay tuned.

Playlist: Aimee Mann – Pavlov’s Bell