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I am tirelessly reviewing my photos I took of the cheese camp. There are hundreds of them and I love them all, making it almost impossible to pick just a couple to edit and share. In the meantime, I decided to do what I do best: share a recipe. I was inspired to make these maple caramel candies after trying some of the maple syrups we had at the new Shelburne Farms sugar house.
There, I learned all about how maple syrup is made, plus the differences in syrup types. (For example, "B grade maple syrup" does not exist and the color of the syrup is what is observed for flavor profiles. Light maple syrup is buttery and sweeter. Darker syrup is more robust with concentrated flavors. It's all about what your personal preferences are. Personally, I love darker maple, which is what I used here. I actually used another Vermont maple syrup that is aged in bourbon barrels, so it has a smoky flavor with different bourbon flavors in It is amazing and really makes maple candy amazing. This is the brand. If you can't get it in your hands, don't worry. Caramels are still awesome with regular maple syrup .
And just like caramel sauce, the color of your final caramel really depends on you. I did two versions. A lighter and a darker maple caramel toffee you can see here. They both taste amazing, and I don't think I can pick a favorite. The lighter candies have a sweeter, buttery flavor, while the darker variety has a deeper, more complex flavor that is still sweet, but not overly so. Next time, I think it would spin the candy lighter and darker, because that would probably taste even better!
Yield: 35 candies
Preparation time: 8 minutes
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Time to cook: 25 minutes
Total time: 33 minutes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dark maple syrup
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
- Line 8 x 8 baking sheet with parchment paper and grease very lightly.
- In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream, butter, and salt. Heat it until it boils, then remove it from the heat and set it aside. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming on the cream.
- In a medium / small saucepan, add sugar, maple syrup, and water. Stir until combined, then heat over medium heat until it reaches 280 degrees F. Do not stir the mixture any further once you have initially combined it.
- Use a damp pastry brush to clean the sides of the pan as needed.
- Pour in cream mixture (do not stir) and boil until it reaches 250 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat and pour onto baking sheet.
- Gently top with the chopped hazelnuts.
- Let cool and firm, at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
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