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April 17, 2016
Are you familiar with those little square caramels that come out at Halloween? Or sometimes you find them at the corner store, in the penny candy aisle.
Well, that's what I thought caramels tasted like most of my life and I wasn't a big fan.
And then I decided to make caramels at home and O.M.G., like most things that are homemade - they were AMAZING. They were soft, full of deep rich flavour, and oh so buttery.
Two years ago I made caramels and gave them away at Christmas. It was after I had 'perfected' organic marshmallows and I felt like I needed a new challenge. I needed to keep going in this pursuit of sweet happiness.
To learn how to make (or rather perfect) caramels so I could take them to the marketplace, I bought Elizabeth Labau's The Sweet Book of Candy Making.
This is a fantastic recipe book. I highly recommend it if you are interested in making candy.
I had already read a number of Elizabeth's posts on About.com. I liked her instructions but what really peaked my interest was her recipe for lavender caramels.
I love lavender. In fact, lavender caramels remain one of Tout de Sweet's most popular flavours to this day.
What this particular recipe did for me was help me understand how to infuse flavour into caramels. I took this basic skill and now infuse flavours into 7 caramels. Well, actually eight if you count my seasonal Apple Cinnamon Caramels from Sept to Dec.
I've changed a few aspects of Elizabeth's original recipe - played with temperatures, adjusted ratios. I think the most significant change is that I only use organic tapioca syrup, not corn syrup, in making Tout de Sweet Caramels.
But this, THIS is the point when I started to feel like I was becoming a candy maker. I was now making two different products. Products that I thought were oh so much better than their mass produced counterparts. Sweets that satisfied my own sweet tooth. And now, hopefully they satisfy yours as well.
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