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2011 Cooking Club Week 39: Caramel Squares

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,590 ✭✭✭Pigwidgeon


    I hate when this thread gets bumped. Now I'm going to HAVE to make them again... :P


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    I made these today, as a gift for my mum. Naturally, I kept a couple aside for myself and Mr Faith* :D. But I made the base with gluten-free flour because someone who'll be eating them is coeliac. I just wanted to let you all know that it works just fine, but leaves you with a seriously crumbly base.


    *Since we're (more or less) given up sugar and junk food, my tastes have totally changed. I didn't really enjoy my bit at all, and now I'm craving savoury food :eek:. What have I DONE?!


  • Posts: 16,720 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Faith wrote: »
    *Since we're (more or less) given up sugar and junk food, my tastes have totally changed. I didn't really enjoy my bit at all, and now I'm craving savoury food :eek:. What have I DONE?!

    A complete aside, but when I have a carb-less dinner I tend to have massive cravings for sugar and junk food, but when I have carbs I don't! Mmm carbs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭jimmer123


    I just made these and used an 8 inch * 8 inch tin. But I found that halving the base mixture I didnt have enough to cover the base of the tin? I ended up making another batch of base mixture and using it to cover the base.

    Kept the caramel on possibly too low a heat, after over ten mins it hadnt boiled. It tasted delicious whatever it was that I ended up with. It was a little paler than in your pic Faith. Thanks for taking the time to put up the recipe. Looking forward to tasting tomorrow.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    That's odd jimmer, you couldn't spread it out? I'd usually use a much longer tin and the mixture is always enough, but it is a bit of effort to spread out and you often have to patch it in places.

    I'll be interested to know how the taste test goes!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭jimmer123


    Hi Faith

    when I put my first base mixture into my tray it didnt look like it would cover it at all so I made another batch 100g of flour, 75g butter and 37g of caster sugar and added it and made a nice thick base. Just thinking if your base mixture is normally for a 28cm*18cm then halving it wouldnt be enough for a 20cm*20cm tin would it???

    I loved making the caramel and cant wait to give it another go using a slightly higher heat to get a darker caramel.

    I had one for breakfast and it was DELICIOUS, it was the nicest thing I have ever baked so thank you again. I brought the rest into work and will dish them out later :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,150 ✭✭✭✭Malari


    jimmer123 wrote: »
    Hi Faith

    when I put my first base mixture into my tray it didnt look like it would cover it at all so I made another batch 100g of flour, 75g butter and 37g of caster sugar and added it and made a nice thick base. Just thinking if your base mixture is normally for a 28cm*18cm then halving it wouldnt be enough for a 20cm*20cm tin would it???

    I loved making the caramel and cant wait to give it another go using a slightly higher heat to get a darker caramel.

    I had one for breakfast and it was DELICIOUS, it was the nicest thing I have ever baked so thank you again. I brought the rest into work and will dish them out later :P

    Living the dream right there! :D


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,796 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    jimmer123 wrote: »
    Just thinking if your base mixture is normally for a 28cm*18cm then halving it wouldnt be enough for a 20cm*20cm tin would it???
    28×18=504.

    20×20=400.

    I wouldn't reduce the quantities at all, just make it 20% thicker.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭.red.


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    28×18=504.

    20×20=400.

    I wouldn't reduce the quantities at all, just make it 20% thicker.

    That means the caramel would be 20% thicker too. Good idea!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,858 ✭✭✭homemadecider


    FAITH! My god woman, what a recipe. I made these today and I was transported right back to Home Ec as a teenager. Just ate one here and they are AMAZING. I made them for himself to bring to a work meeting tomorrow but we may be keeping half a batch at home... sure it would be rude not to.

    In a way I wish I didn't know how easy it is to make these, it's rather dangerous knowledge. Thanks for the recipe, must try to stay away from the fridge now for the evening!


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    Haha, delighted to hear they went so well for you! They're very dangerous :). Be prepared to get regular requests for them from anyone who tries them!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭meoklmrk91


    The biscuit base is currently in the oven, vaping everything ready for my first go at making caramel, have never tried it before so fingers crossed. I have a friend who adores these and I have only ever tasted the shop bought ones so hopefully they will be good.

    Edit: Caramel went really well, my arm was about to fall off from stirring it by the end, but eating to lick the spoon and the bowl made it all worth it, YUM!

    Thanks for the recipe, they turned out really, really well. My one mistake was cutting them really big, I nearly killed myself trying to eat one, soooo good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,224 ✭✭✭✭Marty McFly


    I want to thank you and damn you all at the same time :pac:.

    I normally eat clean but couldn't resist giving this a try as it looked delicious :) and it certainly delivered :).

    I'll just have to work extra hard in the gym now because I haven't been able to stop eating.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    Sure, it counts as eating clean if it's made from scratch :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,858 ✭✭✭homemadecider


    Some of the women in work are pregnant so I'm baking these and bringing them to the office this week. I expect to be the office favourite!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,350 ✭✭✭.red.


    Some of the women in work are pregnant so I'm baking these and bringing them to the office this week. I expect to be the office favourite!!
    You dont need to be pregnant to enjoy them! Im male and love them!


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    I made these again myself this evening. Normally these days, I make these on a 9x7 tin, but today I made it on a proper baking sheet, 13x9, using the same quantities. They're so thin. I'm not sure if my baking sheet is bigger than I used to use when I created this recipe, or if I used to have lower standards for caramel thickness, but if you're making a large batch of these: double the quantities!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 643 ✭✭✭maryk123


    Made these yesterday oh my god they were amazzzzzing. Will definitely make again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,038 ✭✭✭✭Sparks


    Hey Faith, you know what would make these better?
    Making them with honeycomb instead of shortbread :D

    324906.jpg

    The honeycomb sinks a little as it cools, but it hangs onto the sides of the silicone mould at the edges, forming a natural bowl for the caramel and chocolate topping...

    324907.jpg

    And the caramel holds the honeycomb enough that you can cut it like shortbread with a sharp enough knife...

    324908.jpg

    Nyom :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,640 ✭✭✭sillysocks


    Oh my god! Amazing. Would adore that. Don't know if I'm brave rough to try make honeycomb though!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,150 ✭✭✭✭Malari


    Sparks wrote: »
    Hey Faith, you know what would make these better?
    Making them with honeycomb instead of shortbread :D
    BLASPHEMY!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 58,456 ✭✭✭✭ibarelycare


    Sparks wrote: »
    Hey Faith, you know what would make these better?
    Making them with honeycomb instead of shortbread :D

    324906.jpg

    The honeycomb sinks a little as it cools, but it hangs onto the sides of the silicone mould at the edges, forming a natural bowl for the caramel and chocolate topping...

    324907.jpg

    And the caramel holds the honeycomb enough that you can cut it like shortbread with a sharp enough knife...

    324908.jpg

    Nyom :)

    These pictures gave me diabetes




    /drool


    Seriously though, I find these soooo rich and sweet with shortbread, I can imagine finding them unbearably sweet with honeycomb!


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,038 ✭✭✭✭Sparks


    sillysocks wrote: »
    Oh my god! Amazing. Would adore that. Don't know if I'm brave rough to try make honeycomb though!
    It's actually incredibly simple. 160g of white castor sugar, 80g of butter, 80g of golden syrup into a small but tall saucepan, heat over a low heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves into the liquid, then high heat and bring it to a boil - never, ever stir it, just swirl or shake the pan regularly, especially as you bring it to a boil and be careful because it's very hot - and when it smells like honey and looks like it's darkening a bit but before it burns, throw in 2 tbsp of bread soda (all at once, it's handy to use a saucer or ramikin or something to keep it ready) and stir it with a whisk immediately, and watch it bubble up and go a bit crazy, then (less than 30 seconds after the bread soda goes in, it's literally a case of thrown it in, stir for 4-5 seconds and pour the mix out) pour it into a silicone mould (you could line something with baking powder, but silicone's easier) and leave it set at room temperature for a few hours.

    It's one of the simplest things ever; you just have to (a) not let it burn in the pan, and (b) not get any on you 'cos it's hotter than boiling water and it sticks.

    But afterwards you have a giant naked Crunchie bar, so it's worth it :D
    Seriously though, I find these soooo rich and sweet with shortbread, I can imagine finding them unbearably sweet with honeycomb!
    It is a bit like eating sugar with different textured sugar on top, but the dark chocolate topping rounds it all out. I wouldn't eat much more than a square at a time, but that square is lovely :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭Addle


    There's no honey in honeycomb?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,038 ✭✭✭✭Sparks


    You could make it with honey instead of golden syrup I guess Addle, but the honey might get bitter from the high temperatures. But I thought that originally the name just referred to the inner structure.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    These pictures gave me diabetes




    /drool


    Seriously though, I find these soooo rich and sweet with shortbread, I can imagine finding them unbearably sweet with honeycomb!

    Yeah, it wouldn't be my thing at all, tbh!


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,539 ✭✭✭✭Mr. CooL ICE


    Well, it's gluten-free...


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,912 Mod ✭✭✭✭Ponster


    Should you make the honeycomb for eating as is then keep in an airtight bag or otherwise it'll quickly turn from being crisp to mush.


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,038 ✭✭✭✭Sparks


    Yeah, the honeycomb caramel squares didn't last past four days in the fridge (still edible, but now mushy instead of crispy).

    Still like the honeycomb idea, but needs more fine tuning. Maybe there is a way to get the shortbread and the honeycomb in there...


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,912 Mod ✭✭✭✭Ponster


    I think that making them more bite-sized where the honeycomb is completely enclosed by first caramel, and then chocolate, might be better ?

    This is the closest I can find to the sizer that I mean.


    salted_caramel_honeycomb_loose_.jpg


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