Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Catastrophe

My parents are throwing my sister-in-law to-be a bridal shower in May. To help, I'm responsible for the desserts. Basically, it's an opportunity to contribute, but really it's just an excuse to bake way too much and not be responsible for it. Win win. Anyway, I've been working with my mom and the caterer responsible for the rest of the meal to come up with a menu. I came up with some great options and I decided it was necessary to test the recipes. Since the last two weeks of April are going to be tough, I wanted to get a head start. One of the desserts I wanted to try was a recipe for salted caramel topped shortbread. Sounds amazing right? Brings me to drool just thinking about it.

Except it was a massive fail. Epic. Scraping-caramel-off-the-counter-fail. First of all, the caramel was too salt heavy. I LOVE salt and even I thought it was too salty. Everyone else probably would need a jug of water just to swallow.

Then to add insult to injury, the caramel didn't solidify as it should have. Allow me to demonstrate...

I'm not going to bother sharing this recipe because of the mess that ensued, but if you have a death wish, let me know and I'll send it to you. I started off by making the shortbread. I melted the butter and mixed it with the egg and sugar.
I added the flour mixture and mixed with a spoon until the dough formed. Then I pressed it into the pan.
I baked it according to the directions and was beginning to get really high hopes.
Next, I melted together the butter, heavy cream, corn syrup, sugar and brown sugar. So far so good.
I brought the mixture to a boil and then 230 degrees per instructions. then I let it cool for a few minutes.
I poured the mixture over the top of the shortbread and immediately began to feel uneasy. The parchment should have been one large piece that came up all four sides. The caramel mixture seeped down and into the sides and made it nearly impossible to pull the entire thing out.
I refrigerated the mixture for about an hour until slightly solid and then added the rock salt. Then I returned the pan to the fridge for the rest of the night.







The next morning, I managed to pull/pry the entire thing out of the pan. It wasn't easy. I walked out of the kitchen for a few minutes and returned to this debacle. The caramel immediately began to spread and didn't stop. I thought it was hilarious/devastating and went to get fiance to see it and by the time I returned, the caramel was on to the counter. Womp womp. So disappointing. I felt like this recipe had so much potential.

So now I'm thinking I will use a butterscotch brownie recipe which is tried and true and try some new chocolate recipes. I feel like chocolate is much more forgiving and much harder to screw up. I'll be sure to keep you updated on my adventures (both failures and successes!).

2 comments:

  1. Oh no! Caramel is SO hard to make. I wonder if kosher salt would have done better than rock salt. Either way, I'm looking forward to the butterscotch brownie recipe. :)

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    Replies
    1. It's certainly possible! Since it was a trial run, I just grabbed the cheapest lump salt I could find. Although it wasn't mixed into the caramel, so who knows! The butterscotch brownie recipe is always a winner though, so I'll be sure to share!

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