Fancy beers and candy making. This new, almost-obsession of mine would not be possible without the influence of my boyfriend, the boutique beer connoisseur slash home-brewer, who has taught me there is life outside of gaging over Coronas.
This little experiment is testament to the cliché “if at first you don’t succeed; try, try, try again”. My first attempt tasted spectacular but didn’t set. My second attempt set however lacked that caramely-smack-in-the-mouth (is that even a thing? It is now). My third attempt, thank goodness, was wonderful!
The beer I’m using is a framboise; a lambic beer brewed with raspberries. Timmermans is a more syrupy beer than most which makes for a fantastic ingredient in this recipe (if you’re eager to enjoy one in its pure form however I would recommend a Lindemans Framboise for its tangy edge. Mmm).
Combined with caramels, you’ll get sweet, salty, tangy and berry all in one mouthful. Heavenly. And the best advice I can give before you begin this delicious journey into sticky bliss; follow the recipe to a tee! The figures are there for a reason. I’ve based my recipe from this spiced apple recipe as it allows room for variation. Bust out your candy thermometers, things are about to get messy.
HOME MADE SALTED FRAMBOISE CARAMELS
2 cups (or 1 bottle) Framboise beer
2/3 cups cream
1 tsp salt + more for garnish
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cups corn syrup / glucose
80 g butter, cubed
powdered red food colouring
1. Pour framboise into small pan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1/3 cup. Place in fridge (or freezer) to cool.
2. Line a square tin with baking paper. Once your reduced framboise has cooled, combine with cream, salt and food colouring.
3. Combine sugar and corn syrup over low heat until dissolved. Increase heat until syrup has caramelised – 112°C on your candy thermometer. Do not stir during this process or the syrup will crystallise.
4. Remove from heat and slowly pour in your cream mixture, stirring quickly as you do so. Be careful has the concoction will splutter everywhere. Continue to stir to break up the caramel ball formed whilst adding the cubed butter. Don’t worry if you’re unable to dissolve everything.
5. Return to low heat and stir frequently until the temperature reaches 120°C on your candy thermometer.
6. Pour caramel into prepared tin and allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle with rock salt and allow to cool completely – either overnight on your kitchen bench or in the fridge to speed up the process. Cut into small squared and wrap with baking paper, twisting at the ends like traditional candies. Sprinkle with more rock salt if desired.