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COFFEE TOFFEE TURTLES (Coffee Caramels w/ Pecans)

opinionatedchef Dec 21, 2011 05:35 PM

I thought I had posted this but i can't find it, so I'm posting now. Recently I have riffed on it, making Cardamom Pistachio Caramels w/ a bit of espresso powder

It takes me 45 minutes to make a batch, after my ingredients have been gathered. This does not include the optional chocolate chopping /melting /glazing, which only takes a few minutes. 

X1 / x2 Ingredients:
x1 fits in an 8” x 8” pan ; x2 fits in a 9” x 13” pan ; or combination of sizes and shapes of Silpat and/or pam’d aluminum pans.

13 ½ T. / 1 2/3 c. heavy cream
¼ c. / ½ c. Medaglia d’Oro Espresso Powder - optional
½ c. / 1 c. Lyle’s golden syrup or light corn syrup
½ c. / 1 c. white sugar
1/3 c. / 2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
½ / 1 stick unsalted butter

¼ / ½ tsp kosher salt
¾ / 1 ½ tsp. vanilla in 1  T. water
1- 1 ½ / 2- 3 c. raw pecan halves or toasted skinned broken hazelnuts (or less)
Sea Salt
4 / 8 ou. Chopped chocolate ( I prefer 72% Dark Caillebaut)

x1:
Heat ½ - 1 c. heavy cream. Whisk in the espresso powder til all is dissolved. Add rest of cream through salt. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium high heat and bring to a boil until sugars and butter are melted. Continue to boil briskly (but not to overflow the pan.)

Every few minutes, gently stir/scrape the bottom of the pot so the mixture doesn’t burn.(A wooden spoon/ paddle with a flat bottom edge is best for this.). Keep nearby a small pot of warm water with a pastry brush. A few times during the ½ hr. or so of cooking, wipe down the insides of the pan with the wet pastry brush(this eliminates sugar crystals). Keep the brush sitting in the water. Check temp every 5-10 minutes.

While sugar syrup is cooking, spread nuts in single layer in bottom of pan.

Keep stirring mixture gently ; cook another 20+ minutes til a thermometer shows 265 degrees. Temp will rise more quickly as it approaches its goal. Immediately remove from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla mixture (keep back your head in case the mixture spatters.) Pour the caramel quickly into the pan, scraping out the pot. (Most recipes tell you not to do this, in case there is any crystallized sugar on the sides of the pan, but I have had no such trouble.)

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt to taste. Let cool til warm and slightly stiffened, 30 minutes. Chill the pan in the refrig.on a flat cookie sheet for stability. Remove from the frig , pop out of the pan, smooth side down. Let return to room temp so caramel won’t crack when cut. Cube and wrap as desired. Store in frig or freezer in airtight container.

To glaze for Turtles :Put the chocolate in a microwave- proof dish, cover loosely with a lid and put in microwave on medium to med high Power for 2+ minutes. Stir and repeat til melted. Pop out the caramel from the silpat pan, smooth side down. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate over; chill ; etc.

Wowee gee, Mr. Bill!
 

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  1. raygunclan RE: opinionatedchef Dec 21, 2011 06:00 PM

    MAKING TOMORROWWWWWW!!!!
    and if i hadn't been santa's elf ALL day today, i would be making tonight! ;) i can't wait! thanks SO much!!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: raygunclan
      opinionatedchef RE: raygunclan Dec 22, 2011 11:26 AM

      i'm making them today myself! i'm so happy you're excited!

      1. re: raygunclan
        opinionatedchef RE: raygunclan Jan 4, 2012 01:26 PM

        ray, did you try them?

        i need to remind people- DO NOT try caramels on a humid rainy day. won't work.

        1. re: opinionatedchef
          raygunclan RE: opinionatedchef Jan 4, 2012 03:00 PM

          no. :( i went into the hospital for diverticulits (which i didn't know i had) and now i can't eat nuts!!!! wah!
          but i did print the recipe out and hung it on my "i'm getting ready to make this" hook in my kitchen. my husband has asked me about them no less than a half dozen times. to which i always reply, loudly and with a look of mock annoyance "I CAN'T EAT NUTS!" haha!
          i will make it for him for valentines. day. ;)
          did you make them?

      2. nomadchowwoman RE: opinionatedchef Jan 4, 2012 02:42 PM

        Would you mind elaborating on your cardamom-pistachio caramels too, OC? They also sound wonderful.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nomadchowwoman
          opinionatedchef RE: nomadchowwoman Jan 4, 2012 10:08 PM

          hi there nomad. you are always such a helpful presence on this board.

          well, i have found out the hard way that there is no cardamom worthy of being called cardamom except the very taxing (except w/ coffee grinder; mortar and pestle takes forEVER and serious muscles.) So I buy black cardamom seeds from my local Indian store, and grind them w/ an electric coffee grinder.

          I make the above recipe, but only use , for x1, about 1 T. espresso powder and 2 1/2 T.ground cardamom (to powder, as much as possible.) I replace pecans with raw unsalted pistachios. I don't coat the mixture w/ choc.

          I've also made chocolate cardamom pistachio caramels, but they screwed up because i made them on a rainy day (what a dumbo i can be.) The butterfat separated out and i couldn't get the butter to get reincorporated after 220 degrees,so most of the butter was tossed ;and the resulting 'caramels' were VERY chewy, but the flavor was delic! It will be awhile before i try the choco ones again but i will post the recipe when i've validated it.

          ray, i hope you feel better soon.

          1. re: opinionatedchef
            nomadchowwoman RE: opinionatedchef Jan 5, 2012 01:44 PM

            TY, OC.
            I'm totally impressed. I've never made actual caramel (or toffee), just caramel sauce, which doesn't require much technique. I've made nut brittles, succeeded sometimes, not others. We have an awful lot of humidity here so that scares me off.
            But I love caramel and toffee, chocolate covered even better. And I adore pistachios and cardamom. So all these things sound yummy.
            Since we're in our (mostly) cold, dry season, I may have to get my nerve up and try making some of these.

        2. herby RE: opinionatedchef Jan 5, 2012 04:18 PM

          My daughter loves "turtles" that are sold at supermarket, I can only imagine how crazy she will be for these - definitely have to put these on my "to make" list next time I am visiting NYC. Thank you, OC, for sharing the recipe! I still have not made your salad dressings, just keep thinking about making them:)

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