Culinary Countdown: Bacon Fat Caramels
Countdown to Christmas
We’re making your holiday shopping easy this year with 24 Days of Taste, Nova Scotia’s Culinary Countdown.
From December 1 to 24, join us as we count down to Christmas with 24 amazing local gift ideas to fill stockings, make at home, put under the tree, give as host gifts or share with family and friends for your holiday entertaining!
DECEMBER 22: Bacon Fat Caramels
Yes. You read that right. Bacon. Fat. Caramels. Before you even read further…what is not to love about this recipe all ready?
These easy-to-make caramels use up something that is delicious and otherwise often discarded—bacon fat—and are also a cute, tasty and delicious gift idea. If you’re scrambling for a last minute gift, this is definitely the way to go!
|1 cup||whipping cream|
|5 tbsp||smoked bacon fat (which is about the amount rendered by cooking one pound of bacon in the oven, on a rack or in a pan)|
|1 1/2 cups||white sugar|
|1/4 cup||Maple syrup|
|3||strips of smoked bacon, chopped into a fine crumble|
|sea salt, to garnish and season|
*this recipe requires a candy thermometer
- Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil (or parchment) and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small pot combine the whipping cream and the bacon fat over medium heat, stir and watch closely until it reaches a simmer, then immediately remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, combine the salt, sugar, maple syrup and water. Make sure your pot is big enough for this caramel sauce to almost quadruple in size. Stir.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, insert the thermometer and cook, without stirring, until it reaches 330 F on the thermometer. The color will have changed to a medium amber once it is ready.
- When the sugar has reached temperature, begin whisking it and slowly drizzle in the hot cream and bacon fat. It will bubble and sputter so only pour in a small amount at a time, and use a long enough whisk or utensil to avoid burns.
- Once all of the cream is whisked in, continue to cook the caramel, stirring frequently, until it reaches 255 F on the thermometer.
- Pour the caramel into the pan. Let cool for 10 minutes then sprinkle the top with flaked sea salt and bacon bits.
- Let the caramel set at room temperature for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Once set, lift the caramel from the pan. Peel the foil or paper off the candy. It can be helpful to put the caramel block in the freezer before handling to ensure it doesn’t melt. Use a knife that has been run under hot water to score the top, plan your cuts, then cut into small rectangles. Wrap the caramels in small pieces of parchment paper, twisting at the ends.
- Store in a container in the fridge or a cool place for up to two weeks.
Local Source Guide
Recipe provided by: Jessica Emin
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