Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Espresso Caramels, sweetened with honey

Heidi started it all in September. I made a mental note of the recipe. Then Joe praised them in early November. I printed out the recipe. And when Anne made them last week, I finally took out that glass of honey from the cupboard.

Excellent chewy-soft-coffee-honey-caramels. I sprinkled some extra Maldon sea salt flakes on top, but otherwise it's Heidi's recipe. Thank you, Heidi (and Joe and Anne!)

Honey-Espresso Caramels
(Pehmed mee-kohvi karamellid)

250 ml (1 cup) heavy cream (35-40% fat)
250 ml (1 cup) honey
1 Tbsp ground espresso coffee (I used Lavazza)
1 tsp Maldon sea salt, plus extra to sprinkle

Mix cream, coffee and salt in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Warm until almost boiling, then add the honey, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat a little, and boil until you can do a firm ball test (a drop of the caramel in cold water should be a fairly firm ball). Keep an eye on the mixture, as you may need to stir occasionally to 'calm it'.
Use a candy thermometer - it should reach the hard-ball stage*, or 126ºC (260ºF). Be patient - it may take up to an hour!
Remove from the heat and let it cool a little, then pour onto a slightly greased parchment paper. When hardened to required consistency (it's a hard ball mixture, so it'll be hard, yet chewy), cut into small candies and wrap them in parchment paper or special candy wrappers.

* To test for the hard-ball stage, drop a small amount of mixture into very cold water. It should form a hard ball that is hard enough to hold its shape yet is pliable.


Gloria Baker said...

This looks delicious Pille!!! Gloria

Shayne said...

hummmm this one is yet another post on my to do list from your blog. That list if starting to get big.

Anonymous said...

Yum! How perfect for Christmas Pille! I wouldn't mind finding these gorgeous caramels in my stocking :)

Jeanne said...

Joey had already said what I'm thinking - how lovely it would be to find these in my Christmas stocking! I can see these fabulous little guys becoming the new slow-roasted tomatoes or no-knead bread :)

thepassionatecook said...

gosh i have to make these! perfect thing for christmas, or just about any time, if you ask me! i adore caramels, salted even more so, and the addition of coffee is tempting, especially since our jura is broken at the moment... a coffee fix in disguise!

Laurie Constantino said...

These were so good, but I shouldn't have made them. (Thanks to you, however, for an excellent recipe.) Here's what happened:

David T. Macknet said...

Hey! I followed your recipe ... sort of. I couldn't resist adding spices & cocoa powder. And substituted soy "cream" for dairy cream. We'll see. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Shaun said...

Pille - Some time early in the new year (when my thesis will be complete and the Christmas/New Year's festivities are over), I'll make my way to a honey bee centre in Warkworth where they have a fabulous pohutakawa honey, which has a salty aftertaste. You might want to try using it for this recipe, but it is also divine on toast. It is my most favourite honey in the world.

Pille said...

Gloria – thank you!

Shayne – you’re most kind :)

Joey – it’d be a lovely Christmas nibble, perfect alongside my favourite holiday nibble, spicy sugared almonds!

Jeanne – slow-roasted tomatoes are so much more healthier, that they’d win in my eyes :) But you’re right, these could become the new no-knead bread :)

Johanna – sorry to hear about your Jura machine. How do you cope?? I added more salt to the recipe (i.e. sprinkled Maldon flakes on top), as otherwise the honey-flavour was a bit too overpowering. But with extra salt, these were excellent!

Laurie – pleased to hear that I inspired you and that you liked them!

DaviMack – so which spices did you use? And did the soy cream work?

Shaun – I love the sound of pohutakawa honey with salty aftertaste – must look it up one day!