The pages of Caramel Fudge Toffee & Brittle contain the secrets of award-winning confectioner Sara Aasum Hultberg in a mini course in confections, if you will. The author starts with the basics covering ingredients, cooking caramel, tempering chocolate and the like before setting out which tools are best for making top quality candy.
In this book, Sara sticks (no pun intended) to caramels, chocolates and brittles for the most part but these are not your basic recipes. Why make Salted Caramels when you can make Salted Caramels with Toasted Coconut or Caramels with Toasted Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds and Lemon? Fudge gets the same special treatment with recipes for Fudge with Lime, White Chocolate & Blueberries and Dark Chocolate Fudge with Figs & Pistachios. The entire book is filled with exciting and different twists on the classics.
The author’s instructions are detailed and well written and for someone who never made nougat before (that I can remember) her directions made it simple. Once you see the gorgeous photographs of every recipe – you will tie on your apron and grab your candy thermometer yourself. Let the Willy Wonka hidden inside of you free and try making Honeycomb and Milk Chocolate Brittle with Peanut Swirls.
I was inspired to try one of the recipes with the most steps – and I have no idea why – maybe I wasn’t feeling like myself – the homemade Snickers recipe. This recipe has three components – nougat base, caramel peanut filling and ganache topping. I am proud to say I did it all with only one curse word. That word slipped out when this occurred: I watched that candy thermometer like a hawk and it went from 266 to 302 degrees in a millisecond — so my advice is to start whipping your eggs at 200 degrees not at 266 – which was my only issue with the recipe.
My caramel went over 302 even turning it off and setting it to the side while waiting for glossy peaks to form on my egg whites. This temperature overage resulted in the caramel being a bit more like toffee than a softer caramel bite. It was still delicious and knowing what I know how – I will make these candies again and be more aware.
I am excited to try more of these tempting special confections in the future and you can try the homemade Snickers recipe yourself as Weldon Owen is sharing it here for our readers.
As you may know, I am the Cookbook Promotions Manager for Eat Your Books, a website that assists cookbook lovers in keeping track of their cookbooks and the recipes they use. Eat Your Books is offering a special discount to Sunday Supper members and readers. Sign up using the code SSM17 to receive a free three-month trial to our service. In addition to the services we provide, we have dozens of cookbook giveaways as well. You don’t need to be a paid member to enter our giveaways.
- ¾ cup (6 oz/185 g) plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) honey
- ⅓ cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) liquid glucose
- ⅓ cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) water
- 2 small or 1½ large egg whites (2 oz/60g)
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- ½ vanilla bean
- ⅔ (5 oz/155 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) liquid glucose or honey
- ⅓ cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) heavy cream
- 3½ tablespoons butter
- ⅔ cup (3 oz/90 g) salted peanuts
- 3 ½ ounces (105 g) dark chocolate
- 1¾ ounces (50 g) milk chocolate
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Mix the ¾ cup (6 oz/185 g) granulated sugar, the honey, glucose, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil to make a sugar syrup. When the syrup reaches about 266°F (130°C), begin whisking the egg whites in a separate bowl.
- Add the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar a little at a time to form a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 302°F (150°C), pour it in a thin stream into the meringue. Whisk until the meringue is firm and lukewarm.
- Line a pan about 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) with parchment paper. Sift some of the confectioners’ sugar over the paper to coat it.
- Dip a spatula in oil so the nougat won’t stick and transfer the nougat to the lined pan.
- Dust with more confectioners’ sugar and press the nougat into the pan.
- For the caramel, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a saucepan.
- Mix in the sugar, glucose, cream, and butter. Heat on low until the butter has melted.
- Increase the heat to medium and cook until the caramel reaches 253°F (123°C).
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel over the nougat. Sprinkle on the peanuts and let the caramel set at room temperature for a while.
- Chop the dark and milk chocolates. Put the chocolates and peanut butter in a bowl.
- Heat the cream with the honey in a saucepan.
- Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and peanut butter. Stir with a heatproof spatula until the mixture is a smooth ganache.
- Pour the ganache over the caramel layer in the pan.
- Leave at room temperature for at least 6 hours to set. Cut into pieces.
Editor’s note: This recipe is printed courtesy of the publisher. The author of this review received a copy of the cookbook, Caramel Fudge Toffee & Brittle: Secrets of a Confectioner. No other compensation was received from the publisher.
Many thanks to the publisher Weldon Owen who is sponsoring one copy of this wonderful cookbook for a giveaway, open to US residents only. Please check out the book on Amazon and leave a comment on the post – What recipe from Caramel Fudge Toffee & Brittle would you try first? – to enter. The rafflecopter has several options for earning more chances to win! The more you do, the better your chances. No purchase necessary. The winner will be notified by email. If the winner does not respond in 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.
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