lauantai 1. joulukuuta 2012

We're going nuts here!

Hello my friends!
It's first day of December and the snow we got yesterday, got me straight into the Christmas mood. :) We still keep the candy mode on and today we're making some macadamia chocolate caramel. So get your sugar and thermometers ready since it's about the get hot and sticky!

Dig from your cupboards:
200g (7 oz) Macadamia nuts
4 Tbsp Water
350g (12 oz) Sugar
125g (4,4 oz) Butter
1 Tbsp Molasses or Dark Syrup
1/4 Tsp Sea salt
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
150g (5 oz) Dark Chocolate (60-70%)

So begin  by heating up the oven to 160°C (320 F). You need to get some tan on those macadamias but be careful! These nuts are very greasy so they burn easily if you don't keep an eye on them. Roast them for 5 mins and check up on them if they're golden brown. If not, giva a couple more minutes for them. Spread those golden goodies in a tin where they pretty much cover up the whole bottom. Then we move on to the caramel.

Measure the water, sugar, butter, syrup/ molasses and salt into a pan with a thick bottom. Heat it up with a low temperature so everything dissolves and mixes up together. Then bring the heat up and let it boil until the sugar reaches the 'hard crack' level (154°C). You see how the sugar cooks and get darker colored. At this point, remember that the sugar is EXTREMELY HOT! If you get that on you, it doesn't come off by wiping but put the part under some cold water so the sugar hardens.
When the caramel is cooked, take it aside and mix the vanilla extract and baking soda in it. Stir the mixture but not too much! Pour the caramel quickly on to the nuts and try to get it settled by shaking and tapping the sides a bit.

Chop the chocolate and sprinkle it evenly on top of the caramel. The caramel is still so hot that the chocolate simply just melt on it and you can smoothen it out with a palette knife. Let the treat cool down for a good while before cutting it roughly into the pieces. You can store it in a air tight box but don't put it into a fridge or a freezer.
In my opinion, it was fun to see a different side of the sugar. Earlier I have made fluffy marshmallows and smooth fudge but this time the texture was harder. There was some serious cooking and watching not to burn the sugar but I think I passed this one honorably. This combination was very neat with the sweet chocolate combined to a bit salty caramel. The macadamias gave their own texture for the treat so I'd give 8/10 for this. :)

See you next time!

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