Monday, September 8, 2008

Sticking by


Candy and sweets were not a big part of my childhood. For reasons unbeknownst to me still to this day, we never went trick-or-treating on Halloween and instead, helped my mom give out candy to our friends and neighbours who would visit. We never felt deprived, however, because my sister and I were allowed to select a few items from the candy bowl and my habitual choice would be those Kraft caramel squares. Incidentally, my GUND Snuffles teddy bear was even named Caramel.


Decades later, I now can make my own soft caramels (en français, les caramels mous). They are dead easy to make and even easier to infuse with different flavours. Personally, I do not like the combination of salt and sweet and so have avoided the salted caramel trend. My tastebuds prefer caramel with fruity notes and so I frugally used some leftover blueberry purée to make blueberry caramels mous. After patiently letting them set overnight, cutting them was an exercise in restraint as I had to resist snacking on all the trimmings.


Having no dental cavities and not wishing to get any this late in life, the majority of caramels were destined for travel as gifts to a few friends, near and far. In fact, they ship well since they are not extremely temperature-sensitive, have a fairly long shelf-life, and are not delicate creatures like macarons, for example.

Meanwhile, I must find my dusty vintage GUND teddy bear...

15 comments:

jillian said...

These are so pretty! I tried making caramels like this for gifts once and it was a bit of a disaster. I will have to give it another go.

Tartelette said...

What lovely memories! The caramels look absolutely perfect!

Food Rockz Man said...

Beautiful! I've only begun making caramels this year and am hooked. One hard lesson I learned quickly is that modifying recipes in a way that increases water content (e.g., adding berry puree) requires additional doctoring with glucose syrup to prevent crystalization. Chemistry was never my strength as a student, but I have a new-found appreciation for it as an aspiring candy maker! Did you use a recipe for these? Or make up your own? Will you share it? Thanks!

Isaiah Isaeus said...

Yes, can we please have a recipe?

redmenace said...

I love these. These would be great wedding favors!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cuz
Oh my gosh. I was just telling Jerry that I must make some homemade carmels...they are my favorite food group. Okay we are definately related :)
We are coming up there in the 1st week of October we must all get together for lunch or dinner.
Talk to you soon.
Love Cuz

lisa said...

Caramels are so delicious. I had never thought of adding fruit--only nuts. Now, I'm thinking apple butter caramels . . .

Leonor de Sousa Bastos said...

Your caramels look beautiful... I love your "little gifts"! They are perfect!
:)

gkbloodsugar said...

How cool are they? Just a little bt unusual too.

And they look so adorable in their papers.

JulieW said...

Your caramels look and sound wonderful. I would love to try making them if you would be so kind to post your recipe.

Aran said...

i love caramels and they do make beautiful gifts. you wrapped them so beautifully...

Charmaine said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments. For my thoughts on why I don't publish recipes in my blog, please refer to this post. I can, however, refer you to this post which features a very similar recipe/method for caramels mous. Like Fanny, I normally use glucose and when adding purees, I substitute 25% of the cream volume with puree instead (and leave out salt!). :)

Cuz: What a coincidence! You are so funny! We must get together...I'll see what Cuz Michelle is doing (hopefully not bursting yet).

Suzue said...

wow looking at your blog is amazing! are you working in any resturant or bakery in Vancouver? I would love to go eat where you work ! :D

Charmaine said...

Suzue: Thanks! I work at one of the locations listed here (you'll have to peruse my archives to discover which one ;) but also do "freelance" for mainly friends and family.

Gloria S. said...

oOOoo you work @ Ganache, am I right?
I love your blog and the things you create. They r beautiful.

Suzue :)