Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Cookbook Challenge #4
I mentioned on Friday that it was my mum's birthday. So I grabbed my Gifts from the Kitchen cookbook to make some sweet treats as a gift *smiles*
I picked Salted Caramels (because I love them) and Raspberry and Passionfruit pastilles (because mum loves fruit jellies). Except the pastilles quickly became raspberry and vanilla when I couldn't get hold of any passionfruit.
I made the pastilles first, and loved the way the house smelled so warm and fruity. It's essentially a jam-making process, you just use different ratios of fruit to sugar to get a different set. 400g of raspberries and a vanilla pod became 250g of pulp and juice, added the sugar and boiled it away for ages.
After it had set, I cut it into squares and rolled them in vanilla sugar...
While the fruit was setting I turned to the salted caramels. I love the way salt brings out the flavour of caramel, and cuts through the sweetness, but every time I mention it, mum says how she can't quite get her head round it. So, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to make some to demonstrate *laughs*
The first attempt went horribly wrong when I somehow forget the fundamental rule of making caramel - do not stir the sugar as it is caramelising. Not sure how I managed to forget, but I did. The resulting crystallised structure was fascinating, if not desirable ;)
After managing to get it right, I finished off the recipe, left it to set and cut into squares. Large ones *grins*
They don't look fantastically appetising in this picture admittedly, but look how cute they are when they're wrapped in little twists of greaseproof paper...
Like proper sweets ;)
All that remained was to package everything up nicely and there you have it.
The caramels are so good *grins* Apparently they go brilliantly with coffee (I don't drink it so I wouldn't know) and the pastilles are nice and tart - which was the plan as mum prefers tart things to overly sweet things. All together, I consider this a success. Admittedly, these recipes have no place in the day to day cooking repertoire, but I'm glad I used this book as it is really gorgeous.