Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween turtles, or the time I burnt myself with boiling sugar


Halloween weekend, Huzzah!! I like Halloween, not love but like a lot. Mostly because it signifies the start of winter, and I don't know if I've told you (here, here or here) but I love winter!!



This year we decided to forego the cornucopia of candy and focus on one main event! During a recent trip to town we dropped by an American sweet shop and I picked up some DeMets Turtles. I loved these chocolates during my time in america and once my boyfriend tasted them we knew we needed more, and preferably for less than £3 a pack (2 turtles). So we planned a Halloween baking session!!


We stuck with the classic - pecans and I decided to try a new caramel recipe to create something between a caramel and a fudge, that would hold it's shape but still be chewy and delicious. As you can see we also did dark and milk chocolate versions, so everyone can have their favourite!!

Homemade Turtles

Ingredients
200g Pecans

For the Caramel
300g White Sugar
60ml Golden Syrup/Corn Syrup
60ml Water
240ml cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
(You will also need a sugar thermometer)

Cover
200g Milk
200g Dark Chocolate

Instructions

1- Preheat oven to 200C/ 390F. Mix together the sugar, syrup and water in a thick bottom saucepan. Then remove the spoon and do not mix again until later.

2 - Place the saucepan on a medium heat. Put your pecans on a baking tray and put into the oven.

3- Using a silicon spatula or a pastry brush dipped in water push any crystals on the walls down

4 - Heat until you reach between 250F and 320F. I went for 275F.

5- Remove from the heat and add the cream

6- Stir gently (it will bubble up but don't worry)

7 - Return to a medium heat and bring back up to 250F

8 - Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, then stir

9 - Remove pecans from oven and then arrange in sets of three

10- Then stir your slightly cooled caramel and if it has thickened slightly pour a spoonful over each set of pecans






11- Now allow your caramel to cool and cut up your chocolate.

12- Melt 3/4 chocolate (ideally in a bains marie but you can use a microwave in 20-30 second bursts)

13- Once fully melted remove from the heat add the final quarter and mix thoroughly until this also melts from the heat of the other chocolate

14- Your caramel should be set now so you can pick up the pieces and dip into the chocolate. Then returned to the parchment lined baking sheet and allow to cool.

Et Voila, or erm Well Lookie here (does that sound america, absolutely no offense intended) - You've got yourself some turtles


Enjoy =)

Oh......and the burn?! Well suffice is to say that my sugar thermometer skills need work and I would advise you to be careful when removing it from the pot as splashes can happen =( Hot Sugar + skin is not good so always be extra careful!

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