Dry Caramel, Salt – Alinea recipe, pages 296-297.
This is a really cool and easy-to-make dish from the Alinea Restaurant cook book. I did this recipe with my daughter. We had a lotta fun! When you try the powderized caramel, it melts in your mouth — and changes back into chewy caramel!
Caramel is fairly easy to make — if you keep your eye on the candy temperature. A few ingredients, and constant monitoring are all that’s needed. Mise en place:
We combined some Water, sugar, cream and glucose in a medium saucepan and heated.
Then added cubed butter a little at a time…
Whisking constantly, so the sugar and cream did not burn…
We had a little issue with the cooking times for the sugar, but figured it out. The recipe says to cook the sugar to 240°F, which is at the low end of the soft ball stage. We did that, but the color wasn’t dark enough. So we cooked it a bit more — to 260°F, the hard ball stage. The color was good, but it kept deepening even after we removed it from the heat. The heat from the pan and the sugar’s temp keeps it a cookin!
We poured it out onto a Silpat silicone baking mat to cool.
C&H cane sugar
Glucose (i.e., Karo corn syrup)
Alta-Dena heavy cream
Challenge unsalted butter
The caramel turned out well, was chewy and tasted pretty damn good, even though it had some imperfections and darker bits.
We pulled it apart, combined small pieces with the maltodextrin powder, and processed in our Cuisinart mini food processor.
It took a little more maltodextrin than specified in the recipe to result in a truly dry powder form. But — ’twas o so worth it!
Caramel base, from above
Tapioca Maltodextrin, from Willpowder
To Assemble and Serve
Pour a little in a glass, and top with a few grains of Maldon sea salt and there you have it. We shared with our neighbors — telling them just a little.
“How weird!” Kirsten said, “I love it! But how weird!” It surprises everyone who tries it!
And they still keep asking for more, every couple of weeks…
Maldon sea salt
Salter digital scale
Cutting board and knife
Silpat silicone baking mat
Cuisinart food processor
Stemless wine glasses, from Crate&Barrel
Yields: enough for about 36 servings! You could easily cut this recipe in half, ’cause you’re gonna have A LOT of caramel leftover…