Books I love
  • Short and Sweet
    Short and Sweet
  • The Flavour Thesaurus
    The Flavour Thesaurus
  • Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
    Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
  • Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon
    Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon
  • Macarons
    Macarons
  • Mich Turner's Cake Masterclass: The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide to Cake Decorating Perfection
    Mich Turner's Cake Masterclass: The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide to Cake Decorating Perfection
  • The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry
    The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry
  • Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
    Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
  • The Home Guide to Cake Decorating
    The Home Guide to Cake Decorating
  • The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious--And Perplexing--City
    The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious--And Perplexing--City
  • Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling
    Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling
  • Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3
    Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3
  • Rose's Heavenly Cakes
    Rose's Heavenly Cakes

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Friday
Dec232011

Secret Santa, multi-purpose caramel recipe and Christmas gift inspirations

My secret Santa has arrived thanks to the lovely @bakingmakingetc. It is absolutely scrumptious with two types of brown sugar fudge. It was coated with spiced orange chocolate which gave it some more depth of flavours.

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Thank you for such a superb treat.

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I have had so much fun this year making Christmas presents for Secret Santa, office colleagues and school teachers. All of this would not have been possible without the help of twitter friends. 

I tried my hand at making chocolates after being inspired by @theboywhobakes tweets and unfortunately had trouble maintaining the temperature after the chocolate was tempered. Tim @tim_indulgence helped me greatly to get good results. They still need a lot of work though and I hope to do a proper chocolate tempering and making post soon.

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This went to teachers at school with @lilmissquirrel fudge.

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Basic caramel recipe

adapted from Dan Lepard

I also used the basic caramel recipe in Dan Lepard's book. What was so magical about this recipe, was the fact that I could use it to make both soft caramels and caramel sauce, just by heating sugar to different temperatures. I used a bit more salt for the salted caramel filling in the chocolates. I ended up using 1 1/2 tsp of maldon salt in the end but keep testing after each 1/4 tsp till you get your desired taste.

You have to buy his book, which tells you how to use same recipe with different ingredients to make all sorts of caramels. Infact as a novice baker, if you want to also learn a bit about how and why of baking, then this is the book to buy.

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Ingredients

Caster sugar 150gms

Water 25mls

Butter (unsalted) 75gms

Caster sugar 150gms

Golden syrup 75mls

Creme Fraiche 200ml

Sea salt 1/4 tsp

Method:

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Butter and then line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Heat 150gm sugar with water until reddish brown. Take it off heat and add the remaining ingredients one by one.

You will need a candy thermometer at this stage. Return to heat and boil whilst stirring.

Caramel sauce: Heat upto 113C. Add water if necessary to reach the desired consistency.

Soft chewy caramels: Heat upto 125C and then pour in the loaf tin.

Tips and other inspirations:

As I was running out of ideas and time a quick look at blogs and tweets helped me make these two other treats.

Chocolate nutella and sea salt fudge by the lovely Rebecca @lilmssquirrel. Unfortunately it was eaten and distributed so quickly that I was unable to snap it.

courtesy of Rebecca at http://366recipechallenge.blogspot.com/

Snowflake cakes from Lavendar and Lovage

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Alison had a lovely idea to shape her fudge and she has excellent tips for best results on her blog which I am sure to try next time.

I also tried some stained glass window biscuits for a friend from the Guardian Christmas food edition

Happy baking and Merry Christmas to you all

 

Reader Comments (1)

What a fabulous feast of sweet treats! Happy New Year and looking forward to sharing and reading more wonderful recipes in 2012 :-)

Dec 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf

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