We were all aflutter last night with Christmas activities. The kids and I were building gingerbread houses and a gingerbread tree. My parents were putting together a puzzle. The adults were polishing off a bottle of Prosecco. And afterwards my oldest daughter and I busied ourselves trying to get our Christmas cards in the mail (yes, they’ll be late).
Palo Alto, i.e. the husband, in the meanwhile was busy himself. The night before we’d watched a DVR’d episode of Barefoot Contessa where she makes Fleur de Sel Caramels. I don’t know what got into him but he was inspired. I’d planned on making them last night but he decided he wanted to try his hand. He NEVER bakes! Never one to stifle a budding baker, or candy man, I said, “Go for it!”
I’d gotten all of the ingredients earlier in the day, including a pricey Fleur de Sel (hand harvested French salt). (Found it at Williams Sonoma for anyone looking for it, $12.50!) First off, thank goodness for the ratings and review section on Food Network! Quite a few people had mentioned that the measurements were off. When we did a comparison against a similar recipe on Epicurious.com, sure enough, the cream was off by half a cup, and the sugar by a whole cup! Well, we decided to go with the Epicurious.com recipe, and added the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
There were no surprises in the process itself of making the candy (boiling the sugar down to a caramel, adding the cream, boiling it up to 248 degrees). After we chilled it we noticed that it was a bit hard, not the consistency needed for us to be able to roll it into a cute little caramel like Ina does on her show. I think it’s because her recipe called for an extra 1/2 cup of cream. Palo Alto thinks it has something to do with the temperature, possibly having gone slightly over 248. (I think I’m right.)
Despite them not rolling, we fell in love with these! Enough so where he’s willing to try his hand at it again to perfect the recipe. I wish I could share some of these with you. They’re unbelievably delicious. The salt on top gives it that extra something that just tickles the tastebuds. Very adult candy. Fancy schmancy for us Texans y’all!!
(One day I’ll have to write about my distaste for “y’all”.)