Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chocolate Mixed Herb Caramels


I admit it. I am in a hurry to use up the abundance of herbs in my garden before they go away for the season. I just can't stand to let any of them go to waste. They help me a bit with this sometime driving me  a little crazy some times. All whispering to me. They all have different voices depending upon the type and call out to me as I care for them.


Basil as a Little Italy New Yawkese Italian flavored accent, Lavender peppers every third word with "dude".  Mint has a husky seductive tone and German Thyme and French tarragon each call out in their respective accents.


So as you can see, these caramels have a LOT of personality. Plural even. I was having a supremely crappy day and the fact these turned out so well cheered me up a bit.


These soft chocolate velvety sweetness wrapped around a medley of spicy and sweet herbs are enough to drive anyone crazy with delight. 

Chocolate Mixed Herb Caramels


To make these, I used  Jacques Torres recipe for soft chocolate caramels. I simply added 3/4 cup of fresh herbs after stirring in the chocolate and butter to the hot mixture. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated or chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram, spicy oregano, lemon thyme, orange thyme, pineapple sage, variegated sage)


Directions:

  • Line a 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper, making sure it overlaps on both sides.
  • Lightly spray or coat with canola oil.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, toss the sugar and corn syrup together until combined.
  • Place over medium heat and cook until light golden brown. DO NOT STIR.
  • Remove from heat and slowly and carefully stir in the cream. Be careful as it will bubble up.
  • Place pan over a low heat, attach a candy thermometer to the side and let mixture simmer until it reaches 238 degrees F.
  • Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the chocolate and butter until completely combined.
  • Whisk in the chopped herbs.
  • Pour into the prepared pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Let cool completely.
  • After the caramel has cooled to the touch, refrigerate for at least one hour. This will make it easier to slice evenly.
  • Cut into squares and wrap the pieces individually in wax paper.

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