Last Christmas was awful. Beyond that actually, last December was awful. It was single handedly the most stressful month of my working life, I learnt the important lesson of saying no, I can’t do that, albeit too late. And poor Jordan had major hip and knee surgery and couldn’t do much of anything without a lot of assistance. Which is why this year I decided we needed to truly get into the Christmas season and do everything we could do make up for last year.
This means dinner parties with friends, decorating our apartment even though we’ll be out of town for the actual day, and trying to just do little festive things for each other to get us in the spirit.
And then today it snowed! It never snows in Vancouver! I am so excited. It’s a little ridiculous.
Also ridiculous are these calvados caramels. It’s like eating a candy apple, only much richer and unctuous. Little bags of these will be going in everyone’s stocking this year, and while you might be intimidated by any recipe that needs a candy thermometer, I promise these are actually very easy to make.
3 ½ c Sugar
1/3 cup Corn Syrup
¼ cup Water
200mL Heavy Cream
100mL Apple Cider
3 ¼ c Butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp Salt
Line a baking sheet with parchment, and lightly grease. Put aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pot stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water.
Put a lid on it and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
Allow all the sugar to dissolve with the lid still on- this helps keep sugar from crystallizing on the edges.
Remove the lid when it’s all dissolved and, without stirring, allow the sugar to caramelize.
When it is a nice auburn colour add in the cream. It will spit and boil like crazy- it’s okay, just be careful!
Add in the apple cider and 50 mL of the calvados. Stir in the butter, piece by piece, with a whisk. DO not stop whisking, this will make sure it’s totally emulsified.
Put in your candy therometer and, while stirring constantly bring the caramel sauce up to 254F
Stir in the remaining calvados (again it will bubble and hiss, again be careful!)
Pour into prepared pan.
Allow to sit for at least 4 hours before cutting and rolling.