Saturday, April 04, 2009

back to life, back to reality...

We're back from our short-but-definitely-worth-it trip to the beautiful island of Jamaica. I have tons of pictures to edit and share plus a few underwater goodness courtesy of the cutest addition to our gears, the underwater case for Canon G9. It's crazy and costs as much as a good enough point-and-shoot but still! Look how cute!
What makes it even more amazing is the fun we had being able to take pictures while snorkeling. It will be very popular in our future Caribbean trips as well =)

I also want to share some pictures from our crazy caramel weekend. Without further ado, here are some pictures of the caramel apple project we thought would never end!

I had a lot of fun making them but 150 may be a tad too much for the first time! I'm so glad however, that I was able to do them in such a short period of time. Thanks to my mom and A for staying up late, helping me decorate the apples. I hope they served their purpose at the party.

Here is the recipe for the caramel I made from scratch. And before attempting to make them, I suggest you get a candy thermometer! Good luck!

Caramel Apples

granny smith apples
for the caramel:
1/2 kg of dark brown sugar
1 can of condensed milk
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups of corn syrup
2 tablespoons of vanilla

candy sprinkles
oreo cookie crumbs
cinnamon sugar (a mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar)
toffee bits
chopped nuts
mini chocolate bits
semi sweet chocolate and white chocolate for re dipping and drizzling
shredded coconuts
a trusty candy thermometer
measuring cups
popsicle sticks or candy dowels
muffin or cupcake wrappers
wax paper and baking sheets
a small sauce pan

(My customized instructions after making almost 12 batches of caramel!)

Mix all the ingredients for the caramel apples in a metal saucepan and simmer (?) under medium-low heat. Keep stirring the mixture and make sure to scrape the sides of the saucepan to prevent burning. Bring mixture to a boil slowly increasing to medium-high heat, still stirring frequently. With your candy thermometer, wait till the temperature of the caramel reaches up to 236 F. Remove the saucepan from the heat and wait till it cools slightly to 200 F.

Dip the apple into the caramel, holding the apple by the popsicle stick. Slowly lift the apple out of the caramel letting the excess drip off back into the pot of caramel. Twirling the apple gently will help to remove excess caramel. Place apple on a prepared baking sheet. If the caramel thickens too quickly, place under low heat.

To add the toppings, wait at least 20-30 minutes to allow the caramel to set and dip the apples to the desired topping. Another option is to melt some semi sweet chocolate and then rolling the apples in chopped nuts, for example, to add a different flavour and texture to your caramel apples. White chocolate goes well with shredded coconut while the simplest and easiest topping is probably rolling your caramel apples in cinnamon sugar.

Take some pictures of your apples, place it in the fridge and enjoy! Good for at least 7 days or more =)


Anonymous said...

Hi Jana :)

If I had known that you had a website, I would've visited it sooner. Jana, it's beautiful, and sooo inspiring. I know that this comment is way overdue, but I just wanted to say a very sincere thank you for your amazing work of apple art :) Not only were they stunning to look at, but they truly did have a hand in making that special day of mine perfect. The countless hours you spent making those apples truly paid off in how great they looked, how yummy they tasted, and how memorable they will always be to me :) They were a hit to say the least. I think in total I must've had maybe 10! LOL. And that's being modest. Thank you a million times over. You are truly talented :)

Crystal :)

jan said...

Thank you, Crystal! Glad you liked them. I had so much fun making them. It was a wonderful experience!

Thanks August Empress for the cool background!