I am a novice candy maker, I have attempted three caramels in my lifetime and unlike a lot of fellow novice bakers I have had success every time. That being said, the perfect Salted Caramel still alluded me. So this year, for my boss’ birthday, she requested home made salted caramels and I accepted the challenge.
The resulting recipe is soft enough to bite into but firm enough to cut and wrap – they literally melt in your mouth.
Acme Baking Company Heavenly Salted Caramels
Prepare an 8×8 pan – I chose to line the pan with parchment and then lightly sprayed the parchment with non-stick spray.
In a medium sauce pan heat the following over low heat while cooking the sugar mixture:
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt (I used table salt)
2 tsp vanilla
In a 3.5-4qt sauce pan cook the following to 310 degrees:
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
When the sugar mixture reaches 310 degree, slowly add your heated cream mixture. This will bubble, spit and erupt furiously – don’t be afraid it will all calm down but be sure you add the cream slowly to avoid a boil over or any kind of accidental burns.
Once the mixture calms down a bit, stir it just a little (with a fresh utensil) and allow to come to “FIRM BALL” temp which should be around 250 degrees.
At 250 degrees, remove the mixture from the heat and add an addition 2 tbsp butter. Stir the mixture until the butter is completely melted and the entire thing looks smooth and shiny.
Pour the hot mixture into your prepared dish and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cool almost completely and cut long strips with a pizza cutter and then the actual pieces from each strip with a sharp knife. Wrap each piece individually.
Posted in Candy, Caramel, Gluten Free, Uncategorized
Tagged acme baking company, baki, baking, candy, caramel, gift giving, home made, sugar, sweet
At Acme Baking Company we don’t claim to be candy makers, before this year our attempts were limited to fudge and this amazing pecan roca that can be made using a microwave. Sure a candy thermometer graces our kitchen gadget drawer but it had never seen the inside of a pot of boiling sugar until now! It can be intimidating but if you follow our instructions you should have success.
We should note, that we typically use a 6qt hard anodized non-stick pot but we think we will graduate to a heavy stainless steel pot soon. The other thing worth mentioning is that candy making is really easy to clean up. It sounds like it would present a sticky mess but remember sugar dissolves in hot water so with a little patience your mess will be cleaned up.
Fleur De Sel Caramels
Before you start it is important that you have your pan prepared. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick spray. (I generally spray and then gently wipe it mostly off with a paper towel)
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (this can be purchased at Williams Sonoma or online – you can also use a whole, split vanilla bean. Just remove it before adding the hot milk to the boiling sugar)
1 1/4 tsp sea salt – finely ground
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
In a small sauce pan, heat the cream, butter, vanilla, paste and salt over medium low heat. Do not boil this mixture but make sure you get it really hot and stir it frequently.
In a large, 6qt, sauce pan heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved continue to heat the mixture, occasionally swirling the pan until the mixture becomes a light amber color. This will take some time so be patient and don’t try to rush it by increasing the heat of the burner.
Once the mixture is a nice golden color, stir in the cream mixture. Pour slowly and stir constantly – the sugar mixture will boil up so don’t go too slowly. Once the cream is all added you will not be stirring anymore. At this point you should insert a candy themometer without letting the bulb touch the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches “firm ball” stage or about 248 degrees.
Immediately remove from the heat and pour into your prepared pan – avoid the temptation to scrape the pan. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or so and then sprinkle the top with a coarsely crushed sea salt. Cool completely and then cut. I typically use a lightly oiled pizza cutter. Wrap the pieces in wax paper, cellophane or foil 4” squares – you can buy these or make your own.
Posted in Candy, Caramel, Christmas, Gluten Free
Tagged acme, acme baking company, baking, candy, caramel, easy, fleur de sel, holiday, sea salt
Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate. This recipe could have been improved upon had I used marshmallow and homemade peanut butter but I am not going to lie, these cupcakes are delish!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
For the filling:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Blend together all ingredients then make 1 inch balls, it made 28 balls for me. I made them the night before and stored them in the fridge overnight.
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
Put flour, soda, salt and cocoa in a bowl and whisk. Set aside,
In a measuring cup mix together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of a mixer (with a beater blade) cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
Alternate additions of flour mixture and sour cream mixture. Start and end with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Line cupcake pans with paper, drop 2 tbsp of batter into the bottom of each cup (I used a cookie scoop for this, it was the smallest one I had, probably 1inch). Put 1 peanut butter ball in the middle of each and then top with 1 tbsp more of the batter. If you have batter left over divide it among the cupcakes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes (I was done around 20 and I think I should have pulled them out at 19). Let cool completely.
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Combine butter, cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixer (with a beater blade). Add powdered sugar and then the whipped topping. (I think I would swap whipped topping for marshmallow cream but either way it ends up with that thick consistency)
Frost cupcakes as desired. I used a big star tip. I also made dark chocolate disks by melting quality chocolate (my choice is Scharfenberger) and then I used a squeeze bottle to create them on wax paper. It all went into the fridge while I created the frosting.
Posted in Baking, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Frosting, Peanut Butter
Tagged acme baking company, bake, buckeye, Chocolate, cupcake, cupcakes, Frosting, Peanut butter