July 05, 2011
Three Kinds of Sugar & Sticky. Chewy. Caramels.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you need to go all out on the sugar front. I mean there’s desserts and then there’s sweets, like candies, or in this case, caramels. These are the have only every now an then kind of treat, as, opposed to say a piece of gluten free cake or apricot tea slice with every afternoon cuppa. These are the things that you eat only when you’ve been working your butt off at the gym, swimming laps in the pools, chasing your kids round the park for 45minutes (sometimes longer) or maybe just walking from home to the shops and back again with the food for dinner.
You see, in my (humble) opinion there is sugar, sugar and ermm sugar. Allow me to explain...
Sugar: the naturally occurring kind found in fruits and honey,
Sugar: the cookies, cakes, chocolate and cupcakes we all treat ourselves to for birthdays, afternoon teas, leaving dos, any excuse really,
And then there’s
Sugar: the lollies, sweets, or candies (depending on your location) that are usually sold in little bags. The redskins, caramels, snakes and raspberries. The sugar hit as we call them in our house.
Why you ask? Well, in my mind, it sort of works like the good ol’ food pyramid. Being that the natural occurring sugar in fruits and the like would be the most servings (the bottom). Sugar in cakes and cookies would be in the middle meaning, don’t eat too often. Topped off by the sugars found in lollies (and caramels) which one should eat only rarely, because lets face it, they’re called treats for a reason!
Especially in the case of these caramels which are made with condensed milk (nectar of the gods if you ask me, or my brother for that matter), golden syrup, sugar, butter AND glucose syrup – wow-wee – sugar overload! So, these babies definitely fall into the eat rarely category, especially as once you’ve made them, you’ve the problem that they’re rather addictive and disappeared phenomenally fast - 48hrs, I think, and that was by hiding them from my man too, as they’re really not for eating whilst dinner is being made, straight after dinner (with dark chocolate – saves the effort of melting, dipping coating thing which would have made them cobbers) , as an afternoon snack or as a late night treat (yes, all in the same afternoon).
Yes. These babies are addictive. Chewy. Sticky. Lick-your-fingers-good kinda Caramels. Which you kinda need to say with a bit of an American twang if you are me, emphasis on the mels. Car-a-mellls.
Not to be eaten by small children with wobbly teeth, those with recent fillings, braces or false teeth. The rest of us though, can dig our hand into the lolly jar and grab a few as a treat. Of course, please ensure you’ve either worked your butt of at the gym, done some laps at the pool, chased your kids for 45mins or walked to and from the shops for tonight’s dinner ingredients.
Sticky. Chewy. Can’t. Stop. Eating. Them. Caramels.
Makes approximately 15-18 caramels depending on size
110g castor sugar
65g condensed milks
60g glucose syrup
1Tblspn golden syrup
Pop everything into a small/medium non-stick saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir every 30seconds or so for 7mins. It should be a thick brown (caramelly – is that a word?) colour. Turn off the heat and allow the bubbles to subside.
Mean whilst, quickly line a loaf tin with greased baking paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and scrape the pan with a heat proof spatula. Quickly smooth the top and gently tap the pan on the bench to remove any air bubbles. Leave to rest for approximately 15minutes. The caramel could have cooled and you can now lightly score it with a sharp knife. I did mine in long thin pieces (1cm long my the width of the pan – approx 8cm) and rectangles 2cm x 4cm. Leave to cool completely.
Once cooled remove from pan onto a wooden board and with a ‘big’ sharp knife (I used the one I cut the veggies with – nice and stable) cut the caramels along the score marks.
Wrap and twist them up individually in pieces of baking paper and if you have any self control, pop them into the lolly jar. (I dare you not to eat one every time you walk past!)