a convenient excuse...

it has been determined that my real hobby is shopping for hobbies... i have a yarn stash that rivals even some of the most serious of knitters. i have 3 or 4 yoga mats as well as a ton of other random props. i own enough raw silver and jewelry tools to make a new jewelry wardrobe.
therefore, it should be no shock that i LOVE to go to the grocery store. or bed bath and beyond. or target. but mostly the grocery store. (because while i can always find one more nook or cranny in which to shove my latest food aquisition, the same cannot always be said for things bought at the kitchen section...)

the thing is, sometimes i get silly about my hobby shopping. yarn - what can i make with it (even if i never will). jewelry - what will it soon become? (even if only in my head) and the same can be said for any food product that is either perishable or costs more than a few dollars...

so what's the point of all of this?
Fleur de sel

i'd heard of it, therefore i wanted it. knew it was supposed to kick all sorts of ass, but the fact of the matter is, i really dont know why its better than regular sea salt... i mean, you can TELL ME, but i probably wont understand you...

or, i wouldnt. until the chocolate show, that is...

we went to see Charles. now, i'd like to believe that the adorable older man behind the booth was charles himself, and i'd rather you didnt tell me that i was wrong, ok? i'd also like to believe that good ol' chuck makes his chocolates all on his own. particularly the Fleur de Sel Caramels. because as awesome and amazing as these things were, they are even more awesome and amazing if that adorable little man made them for me with his own hands...

regardless... i'd never made caramel before, and i'd never used Fleur de Sel before, but this was just the excuse i had been looking for...


because my god, i now have 2 goals in life - to be an invited guest on the Today Show and be interviewed by Matt Lauer (for something good - not for something tragic) - and to replicate those caramels...

this was attempt #1...


Fleur de Sel Caramels
courtesy of Gourmet - October 2004

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (note: i used somewhere between 1.5 and 2 tsps as per the recommendations on epicurious.)

1 1/2 cups sugar (note: i used organic turbinado sugar. because i had it.)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Special equipment: parchment paper; a deep-fat thermometer

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel. (note: this is hard to tell when you use turbinado sugar)

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours.

Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.


roopa said...

Salted caramel is sooo yummy. I hate caramel, but if there’s salt in there, I’ll eat it!

Let’s make caramels and cupcakes and mail them to Matt Lauer – do you think he would let us on the show then? Probably not.

Oh, btw, I totally think he’s banging Giada. And you know that he’s the reason that she got herself a full-time spot on that show, right? Must be.

N2GJ Gerry said...

Had not heard of fleur de sel so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently there's a Portuguese version of it that's half the price, if you're interested. I like caramel IN stuff, not just by itself. My wife hates caramel of any kind!


Anonymous said...

caramel is one of the great joys in life. how something so average looking can taste so good is a mystery. i'd really like to try this recipe!

Susan said...

Deep fat thermometer? Really? Please tell me you did not own one of those prior to this recipe...

K8teebug said...

I volunteer to take your yarn stash off your hands! (even though you don't know me)

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