The challenge this weekend was a recipe taken from the French show "Le meilleur patissier" (The best baker). The part that scared me: making caramel. It turned out to be easier than expected and the result is a divine gooey mess, a finger-licking-good sauce that makes you think about finding as many recipes as you can that need caramel.
For the cookies:
Although I try and keep the same quantities, some substitutions in the ingredients are unavoidable. For example, finding vanilla sugar here requires a trip to a specialty store.
Sugars are also different: Mainly in the US, it is generally made from sugar cane while it is made from sugar beets in Europe. The refining levels are also different. The original recipe called for powdered sugar. I didn't get it, so I used regular sugar. I loved the result, so no worries...
There are three types of butter in France: unsalted, half-salted and salted, based on the percentage of salt in the butter. Our salted butter is more like the French half-salted, therefore any recipe requiring salted butter will be less salted than the French result. Personally, I don't mind, but if you do...
I. Make the caramel:
- Make sure your pan is very clean. I used a medium sauce pan.
- Pour enough of the sugar in a pan to have a thin opaque layer on the bottom. Heat at low/medium heat.
- When the layer starts looking slightly transparent, add mode sugar. Keep doing this until all the sugar is in. Do not disturb the sugar with a spoon or anything.
- Let the sugar melt. When all the white is gone, you can start using a wooden spoon. Careful, sugar is very hot and can burn!
- In the meantime, boil the heavy cream.
- When the sugar is all liquid, remove from heat and slowly pour the boiling cream in it, while whisking it.
- Put it back on the heat and keep mixing until it thickens a little. A spoon dipped in it should come out covered.
- Add the salted butter and stir until thoroughly blended.
- Pour into a bowl, cover, let it cool then store in fridge.
- Mix the flour and the butter with your fingers to form a sandy mix.
- Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks.
- Bring the dough together, adding a bit of milk if necessary (I added 1 tbsp).
- Film the dough and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Spread the dough to a 1/8" thick sheet.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut the cookies. In half of them, cut a circle in the middle.
- Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes.
- When your cookies cool down, assemble them: put a little bit of caramel (careful, when warming up, it starts running) on the bottom cookie and cover with the top cookie, previously powdered.
Do you have ideas of recipes using caramel?
Share in the comments.