Saturday, August 29, 2009

Caramel Project, Part 1

This morning I began what I believe will be the laborious process of making caramel éclairs. (I've debated whether to make éclairs or crème puffs, but the only difference is the size – an éclair is long and thin while a puff is round and slightly taller.)

Part 1 is making the caramel sauce. Begin by combining sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Over low heat, allow the sugar to melt completely. Once melted, increase the heat to medium-high and allow the sugar syrup to boil.

Continue to boil until it becomes golden in color; about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in 1 cup of heavy cream. (The mixture will bubble loudly.) Whisk to thoroughly combine the caramel and heavy cream. Add in a ½ teaspoon of good vanilla extract. Strain into a glass container and allow to cool to room temperature before moving to the refrigerator to completely cool.

Now, if you're me, you're going to see this happening in the pan and think, "What the?"

But despite my culinary doubts and angst thinking I'd just wasted 1 ½ cups of sugar and 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream, my doubts were quickly cast aside when my taste buds met the beautiful combination of water, sugar, cream and vanilla. Good gracious. My hips just can't take it.

Up next: crème puffs

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