Most of the time when I make recipes that result in a glut of sweet things (think PB + J cookies, coffee + walnut layer cake, peppermint creams, + pretzel peanut butter cup cookies), said sweet things get sent over to the Flourish studios (Jason’s design agency) the following day. As much as both Jason and I each do have a pretty serious sweet tooth, even we’re hard pushed to put away endless batches of cake/biscuits/cakes-stuffed-with-biscuits week after week. So I parcel them up, send them on their merry way, and have them serve as mid-morning sustenance for Jason and his team! I like to think of it as bribery for whenever I need troubleshooting stuff done for my blog, or tweaks made to the design ;) It’s a win-win situation!
But then these toasted almond salted caramels came along, and we decided to heck with generosity (’tis the season!;) we’re keeping the whole batch for ourselves! Okay okay. I did portion off a few for my Mum (as an all-out caramel obsessive I truly think she’d disown me if I didn’t…) but the rest are stashed in our fridge, ready for us to demolish whilst watching reruns of The Office (nope, still not bored) and the newest episodes of Homeland.
And when you make them (I’m going to make a leap and say ‘when’ not ‘if’, because salted caramel, right?) you’ll totally see the reason behind such heinous tightfistedness ;)
I made a first batch of salted caramel sauce a couple of weeks back, from this recipe here. Jason and I were in charge of taking dessert round to a family dinner once Sunday, so we made up a batch of the most insanely decadent triple chocolate and salted caramel pimped-up brownies imaginable! I’d always been too scared to have a go at making caramel before (so many burnt sugar disasters on the GBBO put me off!) but the recipe made the process look so very simple that I decided to give it a go. It really and truly is 100% easier than you’d imagine, and doesn’t require anything special or fancy like a sugar thermometer to make.
This variation on the recipe makes the most insanely delicious salted caramel toffees you could imagine. Think Werthers Originals on crack. But better. We’re going to be toasting and smashing up a few almonds to add into the mix, both because they taste delicious and because hey! It’s Christmas time! The season for gratuitous inclusion of nuts in ALL the recipes! ;)
Make a batch to give to friends, another for family, one for your neighbours, and then just one last batch all for yourself. It’s Christmas. You deserve it.
200g golden caster sugar
90g unsalted butter
125ml double cream
1 tsp flaky salt
1 cup almonds
- Put the almonds into a dry frying pan, and heat until they begin to smell nutty and are lightly coloured. Place into a clean tea towel, and smash with a rolling pin until the nuts are broken into rubble. Line the base of a loaf tin with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the paper to make it easier to remove the caramels later on.
- Put the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and set over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt completely, swirling the pan as you go, until the sugar has turned into a dark amber liquid.
- Cut the butter into cubes (to allow it to be incorporated quickly into the sugar) and then add in to the sugar. Use a whisk to mix the butter with the sugar, being careful as the butter will bubble and may spit.
- Slowly whisk the cream into the mixture, pouring in a slow and steady stream. When the cream’s been completely incorporated, allow the mixture to bubble and froth for 1 minute without stirring. It’ll rise in the pan and look pretty volcanic, but never fear! Once the minute is up, remove from the heat, and immediately stir in the sea salt and crushed almonds. Then let it stand for a minute, before pouring into the prepared loaf tin.
- Fill the loaf tin with a layer of caramel about 2 centimetres thick (approximately two thirds of the caramel mixture) then reserve the remainder in a clean jam jar. Alternatively, you might like to double the quantities of the recipe, and set in a square cake tin.
- Let the caramel come to room temperature in its tin, and then put into the fridge for an hour or so to cool and set completely. Once it’s set firm, cut into rectangles (I got 16 generous toffees from this batch), and then wrap in little squares of parchment paper.
p.s. Best served cold from the fridge, because it makes the nuts extra crunchy and the caramel take just that bit longer to melt in your mouth.
p.p.s. 100% the ideal thing to add to a Christmas hamper…just make sure you never let on to friends and family quite how simple they are to make ;)
** PLEASE NOTE! I’m currently experiencing a frustrating server error that’s making commenting unavailable on Cider with Rosie- thanks x100 to everyone who let me know about the issue! :) It’s being looked into right now, and I’ll be migrating my commenting system over to Disqus within the next 48 hours if all goes well. Thanks for bearing with me until then! I’ll be on Twitter in the meantime (@ciderwithrosieb) if you want to talk salted caramel ;) **