When I first heard about The Sweet Swap I was both excited and nervous. Excited at the prospect of receiving 3 treats from fellow food bloggers, yet nervous about baking something worthy (and postable!) to my fellow foodies.
My Salted Butter Caramels ended up looking and tasting great, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. My first batch was too soft and ended up a squidgy and delicious mess (if only I had followed my own instructions and heated the sugar to 160 degrees!). I burnt my second batch as I was too busy playing Candy Crush (oh, the irony! But seriously guys, don’t leave your bubbling caramel mixture for a second).
Feeling stressed and time-poor, I finally nailed it (third time lucky) – simply by paying attention and following my recipe. Derr Swah…
The caramel came out darkly golden, with a liberal dousing of flaked sea salt. I lightly greased my knife with vegetable oil spray to make the cutting job easier.
Each little caramel got it’s own rectangle of waxed paper to be wrapped in.
And with a little roll and some twists, they were sealed – and would hopefully survive their voyage around New South Wales and Victoria!
- 115 g butter
- 1/2 cup thickened cream
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 tsp sea salt to garnish
- Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.
- Cut butter into small pieces and add cream into a microwaveable-proof bowl. Microwave on high until butter is melted. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine water and golden syrup over a medium heat.
- Add in sugar, being careful to not get any on the sides of the saucepan as this will burn (if you do get some, brush off with a wet pastry brush).
- Put a candy thermometer into the saucepan and bring the mixture up to 160°C. This needs to be PRECISE.
- As soon as the sugar mixture reaches 160°C, add in roughly 1/4 of the butter and cream mixture and stir.
- Keep repeating this process until all of the butter and cream mixture is incorporated. Be careful as the mixture can spit.
- As the butter and cream has cooled our caramel, we are bringing it back up to 118°C. Stir in table salt before pouring into prepared baking tin.
- Transfer the caramel to the fridge and allow to cool for 30 minutes before sprinkling over the sea salt.
- Return to the fridge and let the caramel set for around 4 hours or overnight.
- Once set, remove the caramel from its tin and slice into bite size pieces. If it starts getting too sticky, return to the fridge to refirm (or lightly greasing your knife helps too).
- Wrap each caramel up in waxed paper and ENJOY!
I wanted to keep my packaging simple and elegant, and I opted for black chinese takeaway boxes with laser-cut white adhesive lace. The wrapped caramels were placed in little plastic bags and tied up with a red ribbon.
I eagerly awaited the arrival of my sweets and unfortunately they were held hostage at the post office for some time. I finally made it there and picked up all 3 at once! It was like Christmas!
First up, macadamia toffee crisps from Apricot Tart. These were dangerously addictive!
My next package was from Fluffy Makan. These Indonesian Cassava Cheese Cookies are uniquely salty and sweet and VERY tasty!
And my final package was from Polkadots and Chopsticks, a box full of delicious ginger and dark chocolate cookies! Yay!
Apart from a few hiccups in my baking process, The Sweet Swap was great fun and I loved sending off and receiving delicious treats in the mail (plus, we raised money for charity!) I highly suggest you participate next year and join in the fun!