I Love Salted Caramel

After my misadventures with the Baking for Kids book, I continued baking. Not a lot and with little variety. Until I got my first ‘proper’ job and with it, the awesomeness that is ‘Bake Friday’.

‘Bake Friday’ was the highlight of my week. Everyone on the team took turns bringing in baked goods for the rest of the office. It is a great way to get people socialising after a long week, over a coffee and some treats. It’s great for morale & team bonding and I highly recommend it, especially to people working in traditional, bureaucratic organisations.

That was when I began taking baking seriously. I set myself a goal to not present the same thing twice. On one occasion, while looking for ideas, I came across a recipe for salted caramel cupcakes.

Yum!
Salted caramel cupcakes

It was an instant hit with me. The balance of salty & sweet and that dark hint of burnt sugar. It keeps for weeks in the fridge and can be used on ice cream, macarons, cakes, tarts.. anything really!

This was the foundation of my  Snickers cake on Episode 1 of The Great Irish Bake Off. It went down pretty okay with Biddy, a judge, describing it as ‘luscious’.

That’s right.

I give the people what they need…

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

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You Will Need:

200 grams sugar

60 ml water

85 grams unsalted butter (diced, room temperature)

120 ml double cream (room temperature)

1/2 tbsp sea salt

*Measure all ingredients beforehand as you’ll need to work quickly

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix sugar & water and place on low-medium heat until sugar dissolves (you can stir gently to incorporate)

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Once sugar is dissolved, brush down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush then increase heat to high, do not stir and allow to cook until sugar is a deep golden colour and you just start to smell smoke/burning

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Quickly add in butter (it may bubble up, so be careful), whisk until it is incorporated and remove from the heat

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Add the cream slowly, whisking continuously (it may bubble up here too) until the cream is incorporated, then add in salt and stir to combine.

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Allow to cool for 10 minutes then pour into a jar and refrigerate. It’ll keep well for about a month.

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Happy World Baking Day!

Six years ago, I was at my mum’s house for the summer, faffing about – as you do.  One day, the lil’ sister really wanted biscuits or chocolates or sweets or something along those lines. It was her ‘Sweet Day’, you see – the one day a week she was allowed to eat sugary snacks, as recommended by her dentist. I was, as usual, too lazy to walk the 7 minutes and 28 seconds it took to get to the shop. So, being the smart kid she is, she fished out her ‘Baking With Kids’ book and asked me to make her something. Lazy me thought ‘how hard could it be?’.

Khade vs. Chocolate & Vanilla Shortbread Biscuits

Fail. #didnotnailit

And here’s me now, years later, fresh from competing in the Great Irish Bake Off, ticking another one off the bucket list – starting a blog… about baking.

Yeah.

I know!

Chocolate & Vanilla Shortbread Pinwheels

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You will need:

Vanilla Dough

170g Plain Four

115g Butter (room temperature)

60g Icing Sugar

Chocolate Dough 

160g Plain Four

115g Butter (room temperature)

60g Icing Sugar

2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

*Weigh out all ingredients beforehand as your hands will get messy very quickly.

Place the butter and flour in a bowl.
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Rub in until you get a coarse breadcrumb-like consistency.
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Rub in the icing sugar till combined.
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Squish the dough into a ball. Flatten onto a piece of cling film, wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes.
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Repeat for the chocolate dough.
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Roll each piece on a sheet of greaseproof paper to a rectangle just under 1cm thick.
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Place the chocolate dough on the vanilla and trim the edges.
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Roll the dough in a tight spiral from one end using the baking paper as a guide (my vanilla dough got bits of chocolate in it from my messy hands). Refrigerate the log for 10 minutes.
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Slice into 2cm cookies and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Insert a paper lollipop stick into each one. (Optional – skipped this step and then poked a few in immediately after baking)
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Bake at 160C (fan) for 15 minutes or until cookies just begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes on the baking tray.
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Place on a wire rack to cool completely. They’ll firm up once cool. Store in an airtight container.

Happy World Baking Day!