oh caramel- I love thee as much as I love chocolate and the two of you, just .. oo la la! Horrible for my waistline.
This week’s tip comes from my friend and fellow avid baker…….. drumroll!….. Tina!!!!! This was something important that we learned while making the St. Honore cake at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Just imagine lots of cream, puff pastry, circled with cream puffs dipped in caramel and you’re there. In heaven.
Caramel used to scare me but after you make it a bajillion times, you find there was nothing really to be scared of in the first place.
There are all different ways of making caramel: Dry with just sugar (oh yes!), sugar/butter/cream, sugar/cream, a pinch of salt and some vanilla here and there, and even with a ton of milk and sugar and then letting it simmer away until the two caramelize.
What applies to all! Tina’s tip: Take caramel off the heat before it reaches your desired color! For the St. Honore we actually took the caramel off the heat maybe a couple seconds after it started turning a beautiful caramel color. It was light, but the color will continue to develop in the pot after you take it off the heat.
Here’s another interesting tip: Going for a deep caramel? The point of no return caramel? Well, there actually is a point of no return. Watch it very very carefully and you will see a very thin string of smoke come up. A couple seconds more and you have burned caramel, or you’ve added the cream as soon as you saw the smoke, it’s bubbled up and you have an awesome dark thick caramel. You might have also added in a little chocolate too at this point that melted as you stirred it into the caramel. whoa I’ll stop! drooling.
Got a tip? I’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below or send me a message and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post!