A few weeks ago I enthusiastically jumped aboard my beer-wife high-horse and purchased a dozen Brewdog There Is No Santa beers. In retrospect this was a little strange as traditionally I only revel in beers that taste overwhelmingly of fruit and unfortunately this purchase was no exception to my girly tastebuds; despite its charming notes of cinnamon and spice I could only bring myself to drink the one.
However with my glass (stein?) half-full I chose not to see this as a frivolous purchase but as an opportunity to adapt this wonderful beer to the culinary world.
Drawing inspiration from my Framboise Caramels I hoped to achieve a similar chewy and delicious beer-based morsel. With the addition of of some spice to heighten the essence of this micro-brewed Christmas beer you’ll have salty, sweet, buttery, bitter and spicy flavours partying all up and around your mouth. And isn’t this what flavoured caramel is all about?
Shout outs to all fellow beer and candy fans. Oh, and to people who own candy thermometers, shout outs to you too. Seriously! Please don’t try this recipe without one; unless you are Lord of the Fluke the consistency of the caramel won’t turn out as nicely as you’d like so just don’t. Please? Ok good. I’m only harsh because I care. Mwa mwa! This recipe makes around 40 caramels, depending on the size.
Salted Spiced Beer Caramels
(an original recipe)
1x 330ml bottle spiced beer (I used Brewdog’s There Is No Santa)
2/3 cups cream
2 tbs sea salt flakes + more for garnish
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cups corn syrup / glucose
120g butter, cubed
1. Pour beer into small pan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1/3 cup. This should take around 20-25 minutes. Place in fridge (or freezer) to cool.
2. Line a square tin with baking paper. Once your reduced beer has cooled combine with cream, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cloves. Stir well.
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 try to 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 squares and wrap with baking paper, twisting at the ends like traditional candies. Sprinkle with more rock salt if desired.
BRB, MAKING AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE DENTIST (and possibly AA).