Anyhow, saturday early morning wake-ups seem to be my inspiration for caramel cooking. Weeks ago it was caramelised white chocolate and this saturday past, it was something else. See I have a human alarm…in the form of a 2-year old lieverd (darling, in Dutch) who is also my son! This morning, the human clock is very effective and I am awake a whole 2 hours before I planned….considering my saturdays in the last few weeks have been hectic! Anyhow, I come downstairs and instantly start planning my cooking/baking this weekend. On the list – a salted chocolate caramel shortbread and pumpkin bread. But…I have a little caramel from my last shortbread episode and a bowl of condensed milk in the deep freezer. The last time I attempted a confiture au lait/dulce de leche, it failed.Miserably. Maybe it was because I attempted it on a friday evening. Who knows? Anyhow, after two hours of boiling the milk and letting it stand overnight, I discovered it hadn’t worked on that fateful saturday morning, weeks ago. Paris, I decided to make some. However, I wasn’t ready to spend another couple of hours boiling a can of milk only to have it fail and so I kept thinking and the next thing that occured to me was…why not make a caramel curd? And that’s exactly what I did. My aim was to make a curd with a thick, yet spreadable consistency which would be nice. Of course, I wanted to use up my frozen milk and have it ready in time for the shortbread. And so I got to work and in less than 20 minutes, I was done. Ready…to pot and refigerate. Now, it ended up looking and tasting lovely….if a bit light. It was delish on the pumpkin bread as well…
Caramel curd…ready in 20 minutes flat!
Makes about 180ml / or a small – medium jar: enough to layer one 26cm shortbread and still have some left over…for pancakes and waffles. I’m making this up as I go along. Can you tell :-)? You’ll need1 egg 1 egg yolk80g brown sugar (I used a mixture of light and dark)100ml condensed milk (in my case I used 200ml and it was a bit too thin so I suggest halving the amount)Seeds from 1 vanilla pod 40 – 60 gm ice cold butter, cut into about 10 pieces Directions Whisk egg and egg yolk in a bowl Sieve into a pan – to remove thick bits of yolk Add sugar to egg mix and stir till its a soft mixture Put pan on very low heat on your stove top – you want the mix to cook, not fry! (If you want scambled eggs though, by all means turn the heat up. Please DON’T. Note that I almost ended up in this very scenario!, Thank God I didn’t)
To deseed the vanilla, use a knife or pair of scissors to split it in two and then place on a bit of wax paper and scrape out seeds. Why wax paper?
Nonstick…so the seeds don’t get lost
Combine the milk and vanilla and add that to the egg and sugar mixture
After 4-5 minutes, start adding butter 1 chunk at a time, mixing well till butter is melted before adding another After 10 – 12 minutes, it should be ready. My version looked thin when I finished but it thickened a bit in the fridge Put in clean and well washed jars ( I don’t sterilise the jars for my curds because they end up refigerated. I do make sure they are well washed though!)Once it has cooled down, refigerate and use within 2 weeks. Make sure to stir before you use….all the vanilla seeds sink right to the bottom …or make loads for Christmas and give away to friends!
Or do as I did with the Shortbread (I preferred my previous try though – much crisper, I suspect the liquid caramel had something to do with it but….) and Pumpkin bread…or make it up as you go along
As for the verdict from my colleagues today – they liked it…a lot. I served the salt on the side, not atop and some like it with salt on, some didn’t!
Have you had any caramel disasters like me? Or maybe you have a human alarm ?