Time to reflect how much holiday baking/sweet making I did and shared. I have two signature items: burnt caramel fruitcake and salted vanilla caramels. That I bake fruitcake is a surprise to me after loathing it most of my life, but this Dan Lepard recipe is truly extraordinary. The caramel plus prunes and nuts form an excellent flavour foundation and, really, what follows is all accent (I like putting some dried kiwi). Each batch makes two loaves and I did two batches.
Our canonical Xmas gift is a box of salted caramels:
I usually have one straight side collapsible mold in each country but I strategically brought my UK mold so we could speed up processing. Good thing I did! For some reason I decided to pack the boxes extra full so we were only getting three boxes out of a batch of 64 one inch caramels. Zoe was a wrapping machine, which helped a lot. I did for get my good candy thermometer (with the temp alarum) but the normal one was fine. I need to find tune the temperature a bit. This recipe has a narrow range between skimpy and hard.
I used new salt. Instead of table salt I had this flaky sea salt which I think makes it really easy to over salt. No complaints yet.
I, of course, did some pizzelle (not as many as usual). Two new items were giant salted, olive oil, walnut, chocolate chip cookies and snowflake mince pies. Both were hits. The olive oil and walnuts interact in a really nice way.
Things missing this year: panattone (boo!), bruti, and tamarind ginger cookies, plus exotic caramels. I’d love to get back to making plum pate de fruit.
These got starved in favour of making cookies for the music video. Coming soon! By, next year, maybe! Sneak peeks: