more valentine’s day treats. bake like jonathan bennett: soft caramels

With Valentine’s Day upon us, here’s another delectable dish to make for your sweetie. This candy is courtesy of chef Jonathan Bennett of Moxie/Red, who says it’s one of his favorites.

Soft Caramels

2 C      Sugar
2 T       Molasses
2 T       Butter
2 C      Heavy Cream
¾ C     Glucose
½ t       Kosher Salt
½ t       Soy Lecithin (liquid available at health food stores)
1 t        Vanilla
  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Stir often, the milk solids may settle to the bottom and burn. Continue cooking, until candy thermometer reaches 246°F. Add vanilla. Quickly set the pot on a wet towel for 15 seconds, this stops the caramel from getting hotter.
  2. Immediately pour into a parchment lined pan. Cool completely. Cut into 1 1/2 x 1-inch pieces; wrap in parchment paper.

This post was sponsored by Heinen’s. Glenn, the beer guy at the University Heights store, says that when he saw this recipe was for caramel, his first thought was Lindeman’s Pomme (apple) Lambic. He says that the sweet richness of fresh caramel and the light tartness/sweetness of green apples, make this a perfect contrast of flavors. Caramel, being rich, creamy and sweet, needs a light, slightly acidic drink to clean away the sweetness left on the palate. This sparkling drink looks great in a champagne flute, accentuating the fine carbonation. He adds that if fruit beers aren’t your thing, he’d try Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. This is a silky-rich dark beer with a distinct vanilla taste that pairs well with many desserts. It is a medium bodied beer that has a sweet vanilla flavor up front, with a roasted malt, subtle chocolate flavor in the middle. Finishing with very faint hoppiness.  I would think, for my tastes, this would be a wonderful pairing, also, he adds.

These can be found a most Heinen’s, and for sure, at the University Heights location. The Lindeman’s Lambics are available in 16.9 oz bottles for $5.49. Some stores may carry a 25.4 oz bottle, too for $9.99. The Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is sold in 6 packs for $9.99.