Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lavender Sea Salt Caramels


Lavender can sometimes have butterscotch-ish facets in perfumes and for a long while now I've been thinking about how great it would be to make my own lavender flavored caramel. This weekend I finally made it and I thought I'd share the recipe here on the blog.

Lavender Sea Salt Caramels

3 dl (1,5 cup) sugar
3 dl (1,5 cup) whipping cream
1 dl (0,5 cup) light corn syrup
1/4 vanilla pod (optional, but feel free to use more as well)
5-10 drops of lavender essence (I use Mandy Aftels Lavender Chefs Essence)
2 big pinches of sea salt
1 tablespoon oil

Prepare by putting a sheet of oven paper on a baking sheet.

Throw together sugar, cream, syrup, scraped seeds from inside the vanilla pod, 5 drops of lavender essence and one pinch of salt in a pot.

At the start the caramel batter will be light tan. Boil vigorously until the color start changing toward deep amber. Stir all the time with a wooden spoon. This takes more or less 20 minutes.

Test if the caramel is ready by letting a small drop of batter drip into a glass of cold water. If the drop shapes itself into a hard roundish ball, the caramel is ready.

When you see that the caramel about to be done, taste it. Be careful, it's VERY hot. If it needs any more salt or lavender essence, add it now.

Add the oil to the caramel batter.

Quickly pour the batter onto the baking sheet. Spread it out evenly with a spoon while it's still hot.

Sprinkle on that last pinch of sea salt.

When cool enough to handle, break it into bite sized pieces.

Done!

A note about the avender essence, there are some bitter and herby notes present when smelling the essence right from the bottle but they did not make it through the boiling. In all the lavender flavour was very smooth and perfectly married the caramelized sugar. Now, I've only tried making these types of caramels with lavender but there are several other essences that I bet would be just as good. How about caramel flavoured with peppermint, cocoa, coffee or Peru balsam (I'm sooooo curious about cooking with that one)...

And, I did have an unexpected guest showing up. I'd seved him caramels if I thought he'd like them but he seemed very content just to nibble on my neibours bushes. Yep, this is another photo taken from my window. As you see the snow is melting away indeed :)


11 comments:

  1. Wow! this sounds great!
    I adore caramel. :)

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    1. Yup, even though it takes some time they are really easy to make. I'll be trying more flavours in the future!

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  2. Thank you Sigrun - I'm so impressed, these sound terrific!
    xo Mandy

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    1. Thank you Mandy! They turned out so good, I'm considering making caramels "my thing" :)

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  3. I'm not a huge caramel fan but this one looks good.
    Any intentions to work on chocolates? ;)

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    1. I do chocolate desserts every now and then. I have this dark chocolate truffle that I serve with a splash of grassy olive oil and a sprinkle of salt - paired with a good port, it's divine! If you like, I'll add the recipe to the blog next time I do it :)

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  4. Oh, Sigrun, I love caramel! Your recipe sounds easy, too, but I will have to enjoy this vicariously since I don't like to keep such confections around in my house. (If I want dessert, I'm forced to go out to get it, which is better for my hips.) :-) But guess what? I've been invited to another wine and cheesecake tasting party this weekend by that guy who makes all different variations on them. I might have to turn him onto your site, as he would really dig this recipe.

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    1. Yum, I also have to get friends that make cheescakes and have tasting parties like that :) You're very welcome to give out the recipe, I do imgine lavender would be a good seasoning for cheesecake.

      In general, I think cooks could learn a lot from perfumery about how different notes work together. After all, what we taste is mostly scents anyway :)

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  5. Oh wow. This looks amazing. I'm going to make it. Btw, ever tried lavender honey ice cream?

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    1. I love to hear how it works out! I have made lavender ice cream, though I'm not sure I made it with sugar or honey. I did not use the essence then, but actual dried lavender flower buds, and I let them steep in hot milk to get the flavour out. It turned out absolutely lovely, highly recommended :)

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