Monday, November 8, 2010

No Use Crying Over Burnt Caramel

Ever since Mama Pea posted about making vegan caramel apples, it has been practically all I have thought about. Mostly just trying to come up with a place where I could share caramel apples since I really didn't need to be eating an entire one much less 4. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. My obsession actually goes back a bit further. A few months ago someone in my office brought in a chile covered caramel apple and was sharing it with people. I know, sharing a caramel apple? She ingeniously used an apple corer/slicer to cut the thing into 8 wedges that were then sharable. Genius, right? I commented how utterly genius I thought that was and how utterly useless that bit of information was going to be to me as I would likely never eat a caramel apple again. Fast forward to October 12th and Mama Pea posted this. It was like all my dreams had come true. Oh, except for the one where I actually had a reason to make 4 whole caramel apples.

Then the Halloween potluck at my work occurred and I thought it a perfect opportunity to try. I bought my candy thermometer and had all my ingredients. I got to working on making some dinner and my aforementioned hummus platter and before I knew it, it was 8:30 the night before the pot luck. I decided I was setting myself up for disaster if I attempted to make temperamental candy an hour and a half before I should be in bed. So I patiently waited. But not so patiently that I didn't attempt it the next day. I had all my ingredients all laid out.
I wasn't trying to multi task (which is what I almost always do in the kitchen). I was focused, I was prepared. And you know what happened? I overcooked the caramel. I do not know what happened. Everything was going fine until I got to the step that said cook for 9-11 minutes. At about 5 or 6 minutes in I started to think it looked too dark. I stuck my candy thermometer in and it immediately shot up to over 250 degrees when the whole thing was only supposed to get to 235. I knew I was going to have hard caramel but I tried it anyway. I took it off the burner and immediately dipped my apples.
The first one looked ok, but by the third one, the caramel started getting clumpy and I knew I was done. I tried to cut the first apple.
But the slicer wouldn't go through the caramel. So I used a knife that mostly cut through it ok. But the caramel was way too hard. I had failed. The only thing I can think is that Mama Pea's pot might have been thicker than mine and thus heated more slowly.  Oh well, sometimes you have to live with disappointments, right? But now what to do with the one sliced and 2 caramel covered apples? I pried off the failed caramel and the skins were a little cooked from the heat. So I decided to slice them up and make these.
 Apple Chips! Based on the recipe posted here from Oh She Glows. They took forever to dehydrate and they never really got chipy but they are definitely delicious!

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