Two things in one weekend came up... My sisters 40th birthday and a friend's engagement party!
So Perfect!!! Let's go!!
I got my candy thermometer out and went shopping for Goat butter which was not as hard to find as I thought. I found it at wholefoods for about the same price as regular butter and let me tell you that it was my first time trying goat butter and it was DELICIOUS!!!
Even honeypie could not get enough of it on crackers! So that's a "good thing"!
And now that my sister introduced me to "watermelon radishes" with butter on baguette slices ... Omigoodness I can only imagine the taste with goat butter... But I digress!
Back to caramels.
A couple of things the recipe did NOT tell this "new to candy making" gal...
~Invest in a good candy thermometer. Not a digital one. A nice one that clips to the side of the pot. It is important for this mathematical and scientific process that can quickly change taffy to brittle in seconds!!
~Do not let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pot ... This can lead to wrong temperature readings and again...( As you will see how I learned the hard way) can lead to caramel sauce and dissappoinent, as oppossed to the beautiful caramels you are expecting.
~Also... Do not fear. If by chance your caramels do not harden, you can place them back into the pot and try boiling them again to a slight higher thermometer reading and harden the mixture. ( This recipe called to boil to 250 F but they did not harden. So I re-boiled the caramels to 260 and was successful) I think my thermometer was touching the bottom of the pot the first time.
Here's the goat butter I used.
And I found this beautiful pink salt
And this Hawaiian red gold sea salt too
Watch that thermometer Like a hawk !
After an hour ... Sprinkle the salt. The caramel has to be sticky and not too dry for the salt to stick. If the caramel is too hot the salt will melt!!!
Here' s my initial dissappointment...
Caramel sauce and no time to loose!!!
What to do???
I packed some of it into a canning jar, put a pretty ribbon over some colored tissue paper around the lid and here was the first gift.
Caramel sauce for dipping fruit.
I then thought of caramel chocolate cups with toasted almonds...
Here I poured melted semi-sweet chocolate into mini cupcake tinfoil cups. Waited for it to harden in the refrigerator (10 minutes). Added the toasted almond slivers (cooled first) and sprinkled some sea salt over each one.
Voilà ... Second gift.
I did not pour too much chocolate in... Did not want it to overwhelm the taste of the caramel which was so uniquely special.
Found a beautiful wooden box, lined it with parchment paper and placed the caramel chocolate love inside.
And I then glued some pretty paper, added my sisters name in pretty Martha Stewart stickers, and wrapped pretty ribbon around the box! ( It would have been absolutely perfect if my handwriting was not chicken scratch ).
Here's the caramels after re-heating them and trying again for the second time. Pure success!! Yey!!
I wrapped them in wax paper individually.
And used pretty paper to seal them in a bag like Martha suggests.
So all in all. Scary at first but sucessful. I ended up with 3 gifts rather than my initial ONE.
So wonderful surprise to my mistake!
Delicious and... A really "good thing"!!!
Here is the recipe on the Martha Stewart website.