There was a series of events that happened this week, which lead to this post:
1. I was home alone with full control of the TV remote
2. This meant I could watch The Brits without any tutting from the hubster
3. This made me feel intensely old…..for 2 reasons. Firstly I didn’t know half the artists because they are bright young things, and secondly the Lifetime Achievement Award went to one of my all time fave bands, Blur. They were first in the charts whilst I was at college – thus I am old!!
Aside: I also fell in love with Adele – the
woman girl is awesome!!
4. This got me talking to a friend, who is a similar age to me, where we started to reminisce about listening to the top 40 Music Chart and Annie Nightingale on Radio 1 on a Sunday night and reading Smash Hits magazine.
5. Thus nostalgia set in………
6. Strangely, during this time of nostalgia, I really wanted a bar of Caramac!!
7. I set about trying to reproduce the delights of Caramac, but…….
8. The planned recipe didn’t really set as I’d hoped, so I revisited it
You know how sometimes things don’t work out and you end up with an inedible disaster? Well this, I am pleased to say has become a happy accident, and the result is a scrummy alternative to my original plans……..
So, Caramac….. the rather dodgy coloured chocolate bar that tastes of……..well caramel.
But is it even chocolate? Apparently the ingredients don’t include even a hint of cocoa butter, so probably not.
My recipe has got chocolate in it, but then it isn’t Caramac, but it is inspired by the colour and the flavour of my childhood sweet craving……..and then after the initial recipe didn’t set as I’d hoped, I took it a further step to produce Caramac inspired Salted White Chocolate Caramel.
Salted Caramel with White Chocolate
250gms white chocolate
1 can of condensed milk (397gms)
2 teaspoons of rock salt
200gms Granulated Sugar
Put your UNopened can of condensed milk in a deep saucepan, which you have lid for.
Fill the saucepan with water, until the can is submerged
Bring the water to the boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 3 hours.
YEP, you did read that right….3 hours!
Check every hour or so to make sure you dont need to top up the water.
When the 3 hours are up, carefully remove the can from the saucepan (watch out its hot!) and open with a tin opener. Inside, your white condensed milk will have turned an amazing caramel colour and gone very gloopy.
(This is actually one of the easiest ways to make caramel sauce, but it’s not a last minute sauce……it’s a take your time, take it slowly sauce. If you want a runny caramel sauce only boil the can for 2 hours.)
Break the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and cover with your 3 hour caramel gloop.
Mix until all the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth mix. At this point your mix looks like Caramac, and if you want it can be poured into a tin and be left to set to a rather gooey fudge…….which I have to say, in itself is pretty yummy.
Put the sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan, and melt on a low heat. Do not stir the sugar, as strange chemical reactions happen and you end up with a lumpy mess. Just gently swish it around occasionally to get an even heat.
If you have a confectionery thermometer you want it to get to ‘caramel’ stage (170c). If you don’t have a thermometer, simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes, but watch out there is a fine line between melted caramel sugar and burnt sugar!
Now I know I always say this, but I’d feel incredibly guilty if I heard one of you had ended up with 3rd degree burns – watch out, molten sugar is ridiculously hot!!!!!
When your sugar has reached the right temperature, pour your white chocolate and caramel gloop into the sugar. It will bubble and react, but don’t worry. Just gentle stir the gloopy mess into the sugar to get a nice smooth mix.
Lastly mix in the butter until everything is melted and combined to a shiny silky mix.
Pour into an oiled tray and allow to cool. I poured mine into the bottom of 2 x 1lb loaf tins in order to get 2 chunky bars.
When it has reached room temperature, its time for the grown up bit – sprinkle with the rock salt.
Now leave to set for as long as possible – at least 12 to 24 hours is best, as the caramel will loose its stickiness (I read that somewhere)
Once set, turn out and cut into chunks
Note: you can still buy Caramac, and as I failed in making it, I’ve just put an order in online, with Amazon!