So, I was in charge of caramel apples, pizza muffin-lets and drinks. As it was only the four of us, we didn't want to prepare too much food (like we always do) and stuff ourselves silly trying to finish the food. So it's mini everything! At least in my case. I decided to make a little extra pumpkin tartlets (more on it when I post about the party pictures!) and some mini chocolate muffins I happened to bake the day before.
I'm going to talk about the exciting part in this post - caramel apples! And this is actually a post-on-the-actual-day-I-bake entry (what a rare case ;) indeed.)
I made the caramels last night, when my girlfriend was over for a chill out/dinner session. I cooked Korean food for her (another entry? depends. Photos were bad as night lighting was used boo.) and after our dinner, I started work on the candies, while she scuttled to the comp, partly helping me with the recipe steps. The recipe for most caramel apples I saw online used store bought caramel candies. Guess what. I went to several places (Candy Empire, Hershey's Chocolate Store, NTUC Finest, ToTT, Carrefour) and none had the soft chewy caramel candies. I was like what!!!
Sigh. Guess it's homemade caramels then. The frickin' caramels took forever to cook I was like thinking will they ever be done. It took us over an hour before we poured the hot caramel into the buttered pan. Then I just dump it aside to cool and forgot about it till the next day while girlfriend and I chatted happily in my room haha.
Caramels; Caramel apples; Apples
I started work on the caramel apples this morning. I saw something I really liked here and followed the steps roughly. First I cut the caramel into squares (messy ones cos they were just so sticky!), then I dumped like roughly slightly more than half of it into a saucepan, add around 2 tbs of water and I turned on the heat. I had pre roasted almonds the day before so I chopped them up, and also melted some chocolate in the microwave. When the caramel was all melted, I took the apples I had prepped the day before (washed clean, stuck the sticks in and refridgerate) and started dipping them one by one in the hot caramel.
Be sure to swipe of excess caramel at the bottom of the apple as the caramel will continue to slide downwards and pool at the bottom as they cool. Quickly roll the caramel apple into the plate of chopped almonds (or any other add ons you want, think chocolate sprinkles, chopped coloured candies, other nuts like pecans or walnuts etc). Place the finished apple on baking paper to dry. Repeat with remaining apples. When completed, place the melted chocolate into a piping bag, and start drizzling a star shape pattern at the top of the apples.
Festive mess; Leftover chocolate and almonds
Creamy Caramels (adapted from Rachel at Lafujimama)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups corn syrup
400g evaporated milk
1 tbs vanilla extract
Butter a heatproof pan and set aside.Place everything except vanilla inside a huge saucepan (enough to hold 3litres) and cook over high heat, stirring till the mixture reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reduce heat and continue stirring till mixture reach 245 degrees Fahrenheit. (It'll take like forever, be patient. Gradually, the caramel will thicken and bubble vigourously and the mixture quantity will be reduced to a thicker darker coloured mass than when you first started stirring.)
Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour the caramel mixture into the buttered pan and set aside to cool.
Cut into slices and wrap individually to store.
I love the taste of the caramels. Girlfriend tried a small piece before she went home and also pronounced it yummy. BUT. Though the above pictures show pretty caramel apples, what happened after that is certainly not pretty! As they cooled, the caramel all began to slide down and pool at the bottom, resulting in a sticky messy situation where I kept having to overturn the apples and pat the caramel upwards. And the chocolate wouldn't harden! It kept dripping downwards, seperating itself into squiggly lines. :(
Oh well, I stuck them in the fridge with fingers crossed the caramel and chocolate will stop moving downwards and firm up. I wonder how they taste though. Hope it's passable! Will try them later at the party! Hope my friends will be forgiving towards their sad looking outer appearance heh.
On the bright side, I can at least say I've attempted homemade caramel apples. Not too sure whether I'll be making them sometime soon though. Boo.