Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spiced sea salt caramels and a BBQ Tofurky (Celebration #8)

Today I had a celebration by myself, making another treat to mail out to friends: some spiced sea salt caramels. I used my normal caramel recipe* but added in a butt ton of nutmeg, a splash of rum (with vanilla) and a light sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top. It ended up looking pretty okay. Here it is pre-cutting:

Spiced sea salt caramels

Honestly, I haven't cut it into pieces yet and I'm a little terrified that it's going to adhere permanently to the wax paper. I usually use parchment paper but reached for that instead today...

I had the weirdest thing happen while I was making it. I was using not one but two candy thermometers to keep an eye on the temperature because, well, I like a second opinion I guess. So I was sitting and knitting and periodically checking on the temps. After the caramel had been cooking for some time, I checked on it and noticed that both thermometers said that it was at 185F. But it both looked AND smelled done, so I got out a glass of water and tested to see if it was at soft ball state already.

Ha ha ha. No. It was at HARD ball state. This is not chewy caramel. Somehow, despite never going above 185F according to either thermometer, it went straight to pull out your dental work hard. Oopsies.

Oh well, it still tastes really good, and it _didn't_ scorch. I'm still going to mail it, along with a warning note.

As a bonus mini-celebration, I finally broke open a bar of soap that's been burning a hole in my pocket (my soap pocket?!) for several weeks now:

Delightful soap

From Paintbox Soapworks, a wonderful soap company on Etsy. I believe they make a couple of lotions with goats milk now, but the soaps are all vegan and they all smell amazing. Comfort and Joy is one of their Yule soaps and it smells in-cred-ible. Like cider and cranberries and pastries and love. Looking forward to using it again and again over the course of the month...

BBQ Tofurky

Speaking of over and over again, we had our third Tofurky tonight. I made BBQ sauce (the Backyard BBQ out of Veganomicon) and cooked the Tofurky in it. I was curious as to whether or not it would cook through if cooked in a sauce on the stovetop. And in fact, it did. (It helped that I remembered to set it out to thaw this morning.) It was good but the BBQ sauce totally overpowered the flavor of the Tofurky and the wild rice stuffing.

The Emperor loved it, though. He ate a ton. He ate some broccoli too though I think he mostly filled up on Tofurky.

Here he is sulking about I'm not sure what after dinner:


*2c coconut milk, 2c brown sugar, 1c agave nectar, 1/4 tsp salt, 6 tbsps earth balance, 1 tsp vanilla, mix all but vanilla and cook to 235-238F or desired hardness, remove from heat & put in vanilla)


Anonymous said...

I love sea salt on top of caramel! Okay, okay, I love salt on almost anything really :) But the sweet and salty combo is something I can overindulge on without a care in the world. I haven't made caramel since October so I am thinking you are getting me back into the candy-making spirit :)

Nada said...

Ah salted caramel sounds heavenly! I'd make it if there wasn't a very high chance I'd eat the whole thing myself :)

Amey said...

wow, homemade caramels! You are a serious dynamo! I haven't made caramels again since our candy making party all those years ago. Partly because I am afraid of eating tons of caramel. :)