Sunday, December 14, 2008

Apple Cider Caramels...And STEAK.

Steak and Caramel....
a perfectly normal combination!

So my insanely evil chef friend Tara found a great recipe for us to do together and I have to say that I was so excited to get back into the evil think-tank with her. The mind melting is working perfectly and I am pleased to announce that I now have half a brain. My husband tells me that I have been running on half-full for quite some time (I think from giving him a piece of my mind on a regular basis...haa haa.) Nice. This is a recipe that I can't take credit for but can be found with the self proclaimed SUGAR PUNK. I think I would much like to meet this "kindred spirit" and invite her to the think tank, as I am sure we could cause some serious chaos! Again this is one of those areas where other EGO chefs might think I am a bit nuts. I won't apologize. I like hanging out with new people! I tend to learn some of the coolest tricks that way. Case in point, this Punk chick has some really lovely ideas. Boiling the cream separate from the sugar syrup for caramel's. I didn't think of that! Major cool! Tara thought it was cool too! So hats off to the Sugar Punk and big love for the gorgeous caramel's! After the carmels, we took pictures of a lot of steak. I know that sounds wild. It was! One of Tara's co-workers has connections with a meat company and they needed pictures for an upcoming web site. I ate steak for the first time in six months. My hubby, the Ace, is also very much vegetarian so we don't eat steak at home much. It was delicious too! I don't have a recipe for the steak. Still can't figure out how God put together a cow from scratch. But, here is the recipe for the caramel's!

Apple Cider Caramel's

recipe from:

2 c apple cider, Reduce to 1/3 cup, set aside.

2/3 c cream
6 tbsp butter Heat to boil, then set aside.

1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c corn syrup
1/4 water

Cook to light brown[I have found that my idea of "light brown"

Add cream, butter and reduced apple cider all at once, stirring constantly (it will foam up - use a good size pot)
Cook to 250 degrees, using med. high heat - you want to take about 5-7 minutes to get it up to temperature.
Pour it into a 8 inch square baking pan that’s been lined with two pieces of oiled parchment paper, one in each direction - this creates a “sling” to pull the caramel out of the pan. [This has always resulted in a layer of caramel approximately 1/2 inch thick. If you want thicker caramels (and I usually do), you can use a smaller pan, or I've made a spacer from cardboard that turns my pan into approx an 8x6 pan.]
[I also sprinkled a little Fleur De Sel over the caramels at this point, as I find them far too sweet if they don't have a hint of saltiness about them] (See! She needs to be in the evil think tank! You know how we love our salty-sweet!)[My final step: Cover the pan with plastic wrap, not touching the caramel (it'll melt)]. Wait until entirely cooled. Then cut with a sharp, oiled knife into pieces.

Steph's notes: If you noticed the big chunks of chocolate in the background you are SICK. Kidding, we actually had the chocolate directly shipped from my amazing Chef Mom! We ran out of dipping time. Lookie Lookie, gluten free and what a treat! My friend Ronit is going to love this one!


SugarPunk said...

I think an Evil Think Tank sounds perfect! How are we going to do that remotely...

Chef Tess said...

Think we can just mind melt and post on sister sites?

Goob said...

lurking, lurking, and liking what I see. Those caramels look / read like they would be excellent.

Chef Tess said...

Nice blogger name cave hair! Love it! So you want in on the think tank too? I know you are a baker!

Goob said...

ummm, yeah! I am a baker, but in addition I am also an eager learner and experimenter.

Chef Tess said...

Then by all means you have come to the right place! We will be talking soon!!!

Crafty Crusader said...

Okay, seriously Chef Tess...are you trying to kill me slowly with calories?!! This Apple Cider Caramel recipe looks beyond SCRUMPTIOUS!!! And I have just NOW found it??...from 2008?!!! What else have I been missing?? Holy Cow...(I mean FAT COW if I'm talking about what I will be looking like after I bake and EAT all of your DELICIOUSNESSSSSSSS!!!!!!) I LaLaLaLOVE YOUUUUUUU!!!!! :P