Posts Tagged ‘Caramel’


Don’t let the prettiness fool you… this is failed cooked caramel icing.

Notice the lovely “whipped” texture?

Oh wait… no, it’s not.  It shattered.

Shattered Failed Cooked Caramel Icing

It did taste good, as long as it wasn’t too thick to bite into.  The birthday girl was ecstatic and the girls (including a guest) thought it was delicious.  The Mister wouldn’t try it, though.  He probably didn’t want to break a tooth.

I should have used my Lactose Free Soft Caramel recipe that I blogged a while back.  That would have been lovely and soft drizzled all over the cake.  Ah well.  I’ll know for next time.  To never have a next time when it comes to cooking icing ever again.

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I’ve come to the disastrous, disappointing, but self-reflective conclusion that I will simply never, ever, ever, ever, EVER turn out a proper cooked icing recipe.  Ever.

Not cooked caramel.

Not cooked confectioner’s sugar.

Not cooked white sugar.

Not cooked brown sugar.

Not cooked vanilla.

None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  They’re a failure in my kitchen.  It’s not my fault, really.  I follow the directions, I use the appropriate utensils and equipment, and I simply don’t get the desired results in the claimed time frame.  Eff that, I don’t get the desired results in ANY time frame.  I’ve gotten scorched, overcooked, crumbly, drippy, soupy, watery, crusty, oily, flat… really anything other than fluffy and/or spreadable or dip-able.

I’ve tried the same recipe twice now in less than a week because today is Gracie’s tenth birthday and the girl loves caramel.  She wants caramel cake.  The cake part, well, I have that down pat.  But the icing? Yeah.  NO.  It looks lovely, but no where near fluffy after following all of the directions.  It cooled before it could get anywhere near “fluffy.”  So I heated it up again.  Same results, so this time I just poured it over the cake.

Now I have caramel candy topping the cake.  Whatevs, dudes.  I choose to believe that cooked icings exist in the same realm as Bigfoot, Atlantis, mermaids, and fairies.  I’m not thrilled about a candy topped cake because now I can’t put candles in her cake now.  I’m not even sure I can cut it.

I should say that Gracie is THRILLED that there are little chunks of drizzled caramel candy around the cake, and big chunks that I scraped off of the spoon I used for stirring after it cooled.  She doesn’t even care that it’s crunching.  It’s CARAMEL.  I hope she enjoys the cake as much.

This is the icing recipe I used.  I’ll leave the link, but I did NOT use the caramel cake recipe where the link leads.

Caramel Icing
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into a few chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt, generous
1/4 cup milk (Jessica used lactose-free milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Put the dark brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan, and melt them together over medium heat, stirring often. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the milk and vanilla. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in the confectioners’ sugar all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is thickened and smooth. Quickly ice the cupcakes by holding each by the base and dipping the tops in the hot icing, rolling them slightly to coat evenly. Turn them quickly upright so the icing will even out while it’s still warm and will set smoothly. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/caramel-cupcakes-478376?oc=linkback

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I made some lovely lactose-free chewy caramels last night.  They’re to die for, and I only had to adapt a recipe a little bit, as opposed to making it 100% unrecognizable.  They’re definitely not vegan nor are they safe if you have a whey allergy, and I’m not sure what the adjustments to make should be in that case.  My apologies.  But if you’re looking simply for “Lactose Free Chewy Caramel” then this may be an option.

What started out looking like this:

Caramels:
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy whipping cream (has a 36-40% butterfat content)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (210 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Butter an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking pan.

In a heavy medium sized saucepan, stir together the cream, sugars, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture boils, with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed. Clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Boil the mixture over medium high heat (do not stir) until the temperature reaches 245 degrees F (118 degrees C). (If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, wash them down with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water.)

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and let cool, undisturbed, for at least eight hours, or overnight.

With a sharp knife, (oiled with a tasteless vegetable oil, like safflower), and with a sawing motion, cut into squares or rectangles. These caramels can be stored at room temperature, between layers of wax paper, for several days. Caramels make a nice gift, especially when wrapped in wax paper or cellophane.

Makes about 48 pieces. Preparation time40 minutes. 

Adapted From:

Rosen, Michael J.Baking from the Heart. Broadway Books. New York: 2004.

Source for Recipe: http://www.joyofbaking.com/candy/Caramels.html

Now looks like this:

Lactose-Free Caramels:
Ingredients
1 cup Lactaid whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 TB) salted butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-to-4 TB cornstarch

Butter an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) baking pan.

Mix sugars and cornstarch together until well blended in a mixing bowl.  In a heavy medium sized saucepan, stir together the milk and butter until the butter is melted.  Add the sugars and stir until melted.  Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture boils, with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed. Clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Boil the mixture over medium high heat (do not stir) until the temperature reaches 245 degrees F (118 degrees C). (If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, wash them down with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water.)

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, watch the color and thickness of the mixture.  The mixture should be foamy as it boils, and darken in color over the space of 30-40 minutes.  It should also have thickened noticeably but still be bubbly and foamy.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and let cool, undisturbed, for at least eight hours, or overnight.

With a sharp knife, (oiled with a tasteless vegetable oil, like safflower), and with a sawing motion, cut into squares or rectangles. These caramels can be stored at room temperature, between layers of wax paper, for several days. Caramels make a nice gift, especially when wrapped in wax paper or cellophane.

Makes about 48 pieces. Preparation time 40 minutes.

Adapted From:

Rosen, Michael J.Baking from the Heart. Broadway Books. New York: 2004.

I made the caramels with great success! I replaced the CREAM in the recipe with LACTAID WHOLE MILK.  I used one cup of milk and 1 stick of butter.  I also increased the amount of brown sugar by 1/2 cup and ended up having to add 3-to-4 TB of cornstarch to help it get to the right consistency.  I forgot to use an 8X8 so it came out too thin, but DELICIOUS.  Definitely  nice and chewy, but not stuck-in-your-teeth chewy.

And my children, even the ones without lactose-intolerance, can’t get enough of these caramels.

 

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