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Posts Tagged ‘caramel’

  1. Caramel Layer Cake

    April 16, 2016 by sarah

    Salted caramel seems to be everywhere at the moment; in cakes, ice-creams and chocolates. But it is not new; it is a rediscovered classic. And for good reason; it tastes fabulous! Salt is underused in sweet cooking but it actually enhances a lot of recipes, not just savoury ones. Just try making some melted chocolate discs topped with sea salt to see what I mean. Salt really makes the favours sing and brings out more sweetness without having to over-do the sugar. There are many types of salt which also affect how it combines with the recipe and many also have subtle flavours of their own due to trace minerals. My favourite salt is sea salt; I grind a little into dishes as I cook them and often add a burst of coarse flakes at the end. What is your favourite type of salt?

    caramel cake caramel cake-3

    Caramel Layer Cake

    250g unsalted butter, room temperature
    550g golden caster sugar
    6 large eggs, room temperature
    300g plain flour
    85g corn flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons vanilla extract or paste
    360ml mix of 50:50 cream and milk
    6 large eggs, room temperature

    To Decorate
    Swiss meringue buttercream
    caramel, homemade or tin of Carnation caramel sauce
    large pinch of salt, ideally fine sea salt
    fudge pieces

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and line three 8″/20cm round sandwich tins.

    2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding some flour if it looks like it is curdling. In a jug mix the cream/milk and vanilla and in a large bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients. While mixing the creamed butter and sugar, alternate adding the wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Give everything one final mix by hand and then divide between the three tins.

    3. Bake the cakes on the same shelf in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean; about 30 minutes. All to cool completely in the tins.

    4. Make a batch of Swiss meringue buttercream (recipe here)(about a half batch is plenty for layering and icing this cake) and flavour with about half a tin (200g) of caramel. Pipe or spread over the cake, drizzle over some more caramel and scatter with fudge pieces.

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  2. Baked cheesecake

    August 29, 2015 by sarah

    I never used to like cheesecake. I used to find it dense and cloying in the mouth and far too heavy to end a meal. But when we were on the Isle of Wight at Easter time, I tried a baked cheesecake in the local pub and it was sublime; rich but not dense, smooth and creamy. I knew I had to try making this myself.

























    I actually made this cheesecake over a month ago, but low and behold what was on Great British Bake Off this week; baked cheesecakes! I would like to think that mine would have done well against the other contestants. I was certainly please about how it turned out. I have been converted to the joys of baked cheesecake and I hope you are too!


    Baked Caramel Cheesecake

    Serves 12-14

    Many alternative recipes separate the eggs, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them in at the end. This probably gives a lighter resulting cheesecake.

    250g ginger snap biscuits, crushed to fine crumbs
    125g butter, melted

    750g full fat cream cheese
    150ml sour cream
    150ml double cream
    200g caster sugar
    2 tablespoons corn flour
    4 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    a 400g tin of caramel e.g. Nestle Carnation, I used dulche de leche

    Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press into a 24cm spring-form pan. Put in the fridge for at least half an hour to set.

    Preheat oven to 170 °C/150 °C fan.

    In a large bowl, mix the sugar, corn flour and salt then beat in the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat the double cream until soft whipped and then fold this into the mixture too.

    Pour half the cream cheese mixture over the prepared biscuit base. Top with caramel – caramel tends to be thick so just glop small lumps dotted over the top and then use a knife to swirl it through. Pour over the remaining cream cheese mixture.

    Place on a baking tray and cook for 1 to 1 and half hours until the cheesecake is golden brown on top and just set (slight wobble still). Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and pop back in the oven. Turn the oven off, prop the door slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake to sit for another 2 hours at least; overnight is fine. Unmold from the spring-form pan and place in the fridge for another few hours until set. Spread some more caramel over the top and the cheesecake is ready to serve!


  3. Chocolate Caramels

    August 23, 2015 by sarah

    When we were in Paris, which seems a life time ago even though it was only three months hence, I bought some Breton caramels from a posh Parisian shop. I was disappointed in them to tell the truth. All I could taste was sugar, and yes, the ingredients do contain sugar but they should also be buttery and creamy. Also they were crumbly like fudge, instead of smooth and almost chewy like a caramel should be. Only one thing for it; to make them myself. Which is what I did a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I forgot to take any decent photographs of them before they got devoured so you will just have to take my word for it as to how good they were. And the people at the Tea Party; they got to try them. They were so moreish that just one was not enough.























    I used a combination of recipes from this blog and my ‘Patisserie Maison’ book by Richard Bertinet, a Christmas present from my Mother. A sugar thermometer is a must for this recipe. Use the best possible ingredients you can afford because you taste it all; I splashed out on proper French 40% crème fraîche and butter from Waitrose.

    Chocolate Caramels

    125g food quality chocolate, chopped
    100ml double cream
    100g crème fraîche
    200g caster sugar
    75ml water
    150ml liquid glucose (you can use light corn syrup if you are in the USA, or golden syrup)
    25g salted butter
    1 teaspoon sea salt

    Line a 8-9 inch (20-23cm) square pan with baking parchment.

    Heat the double cream and crème fraîche in a medium pan until just coming to the boil and the crème fraîche has melted. Remove from the heat but keep warm.

    In a separate pan with a heavy bottom, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved; then bring to the boil without stirring and add the glucose syrup. Simmer until the mixture is thick and syrupy; this took me about 15-20 minutes.

    Take off the heat and stir in the butter and the cream mixture. Put back on the heat and stir continuously and monitor the temperature until you reach 120 ºC. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate and sea salt, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and leave until completely cool. Slice the caramel into squares and wrap individually in cellophane or parchment paper. They will easily keep for up to a month in a sealed container in the fridge.

























    Update 22/9/17 – recipe for a 8″ x 8″ pan to give a good even depth for dipping. Also cut in to 25mm x 25mm squares so this recipes gives 64.

    155g chocolate
    125ml double cream
    125g creme fraiche
    250g caster sugar
    95ml water
    185g liquid glucose
    30g salted butter
    1 teaspoon sea salt, ground in pestle and mortar

    These won first prize in the Wigginton Show this year!