Disaster + Uncaramelised milk = Desire
Uncaramelised milk + Desire = Caramel Curd
Therefore, Disaster + Desire = Caramel Curd
That’s Saturday morning arithmetic for you…aka syllogism or something like that.
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.
Not wanting to waste the uncaramelised milk, I put it in a bowl and popped it in the deep freezer.
See, I promised my colleagues that I would bring in some caramel shortbread on Monday and so I had to think of where I would get the caramel. Since I didn’t plan to go to 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!
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 🙂 ?