Monday, March 3, 2008

Candy Making

Someone recently told me about a gourmet chocolate shop called Eclipse near Hillcrest that had vegan truffles. I am always up for chocolate and Joe is right behind me. We ended up over at Eclipse the weekend after Valentine's Day and the guy was sold out of almost everything. He did tell me that he made vegan caramel out of coconut milk.

In my pre-vegan days I loved caramel and loved to make it. I figured if he can make caramel out of coconut milk then I could. I converted a regular caramel recipe and then end results were great. I cooked my caramel to the regular 248' F but things ended up a touch chewier then my teeth were happy with. I do like my caramel chewy but I was slightly afraid I'd loose a filling. Next time I will keep the recipe the same but only bring the boil up to 243'.

Oh, and next time I will not cool my caramel on wax paper. The paper never came off again.

1 cup coconut milk (not light)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tlb. earth balance
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Grease a 9x9" square pan with Earth Balance and set aside.

Put all the ingredients except the Earth Balance and vanilla in a saucepan.

Stir everything with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the Earth Balance and stir until melted and completely mixed in. Do NOT stir again until the caramel reaches 243' F.

Add in the vanilla and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

Cool completely and then cut into squares.

I ended up with oil from the Earth Balance floating on top but I just poured it off. I would still use the Earth Balance even if it separates because it does add to the flavor. These have a very light coconut flavor and all the buttery caramel taste you'd expect.
After Hannah posted her white chocolate recipe on BitterSweet I knew I had to try it. The first run through I used vanilla extract. Everything separated and I ended up with a big mess. I looked up what could have gone wrong and read that with chocolate you have to use a special kind of flavoring. The liquid in my extract made everything seize.

So, I tried again. I didn't have vanilla paste but I did have vanilla beans. I used the beans to flavor my white chocolate and everything worked out. I was so proud of myself. This did taste much better then I remember white chocolate being. I'll have to make a tiger bar, yum.
Next I tried to use my white chocolate in my Brownie Edge cookie recipe. As you can see things didn't work out so well. I have no idea what happened. My guess is that the sugar in my white chocolate wasn't melted enough.
I'll try again.

I should be back tomorrow to post about Sara's wonderful potluck and the sausages I just made after succumbing to peer pressure.

1 comment:

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