Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hitting My Head On The Wall...

They look good don't they. Darn it, darn it, darn it. Appearances are deceiving. Faithful followers will remember my horrendous experiences with candy-making this past Christmas. Need a refresher? Here's one example here. And another one here. And still one more right here. Well, since then I have received a new professional grade candy thermometer. So I am anticipating success in the kitchen. Why today? Why caramel apples? Well, next week I am "supposed" to fire up my kitchen and make about 75 gourmet caramel apples. These apples will be sold at a fundraiser to support our local nursing home. Great idea. Two years ago my apples were a huge hit, plus they were fun to make. But that was way back when I had a GAS stove. And with the recent candy disasters, I need to see if I can make the caramel necessary for dunking the apples. So today is the day.

And like I already mentioned, they look great. But that darn caramel is overcooked. It's at the point where you can't even get your teeth into the stuff. Cutting into an apple, the caramel falls off in sheets. Not cooked enough to be brittle, overcooked to be caramel. Do you hear that? That is the sound of my head hitting the desk. Grr... So what is going on exactly? While I know the uneven heating of my stovetop is a contributer, I am leaning towards the pot. In the past I used a 6 qt. nonstick calphalon pot, and never had a problem. That pot was ruined last summer, so I've been relying on my stainless, and I have to think that is the problem. It's not conducting right, and the cooked sugar mixtures are sticking to the bottom of the pots and burning, where with the nonstick it is always moving and sliding around. I know it's not the thermometer, that works like a charm. So now I have a decision to make. Do I splurge this weekend and buy a new nonstick pot for my caramel or do I go with plan B and make truffles instead.

I think opinions would be welcome here. What do you think? The gourmet caramel apples are large apples, dipped in caramel, rolled in nuts/candy/etc. and drizzled with chocolate. Or should I go with the chocolate truffles- My specialty in assorted flavors. Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Oh, and I completely spaced and forgot it was Weigh-In Wednesday, so I will push that post back to tomorrow. And I'll be back later today with my second coffee review.


Anonymous said...

why not do both? but it seems like the apples would be the less labor intensive job and those gourmet apples always look great! just my 2 reading your blog. wendy

Erika said...

Thanks for the thoughts Wendy! I did finally manage to make a batch of caramel this past weekend. It's still not quite up to par...but when it's covered with crumbly bits and drizzles of chocolate, no one will have a clue. So I'm going with the apples. I'll save the truffles for something a little more special. :-)