This spiced caramel recipe is a girlichef creation that I listed a few weeks back in a Zesty Five. I’ve not made many lollies so I was interested to try it, and luckily enough I already had some apple cider hanging around the house.
Did I mention I don’t make lollies often? I played this one straight down the line owing to my lack of experience! However, I did need to translate ingredients to their Australian forms:
- Heavy Cream: this is cream with 36% or more fat. A regular or pure cream in Australia will usually have 35% fat (sometimes a bit more), close enough for me.
- Corn Syrup: this is a glucose syrup made from corn starch. It is rarely sold as corn syrup in Australia, but most glucose syrups these days are of the corn variety. Check the ingredients to be sure (and take care, as other glucose syrups will not work!).
Challenges and Tips
Heather mentions it’s easy to over-reduce the cider, but I got lucky. I managed to stop it at exactly the 1/3 of a cup required, which must be a first! It helped that the time estimate was bang on for me. I found the most taxing part was keeping an eye on the slowly-rising temperature, with regular stirring to ensure the caramel didn’t catch. Basically you need patience as it can take more than half an hour of regular attention to get it right.
Heather also warned that a refrigerated caramel would need to sit for some time before being ready to cut. I let mine sit for an hour in a fairly warm kitchen and it still wasn’t ideal, so if you’re on a schedule make sure you allow plenty of time! If you get impatient at this last hurdle like I did, you’ll get some splintering when you cut. The caramels are too hard to eat like this anyway, so just take your time.
With the requisite patience this recipe produced excellent caramels! Sweet and very chewy with just a hint of apple cider and a good hit of spice. If you like five spice then you’ll love these treats. Like most decadent things they are best shared, though, as you only need a little at a time!