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We were invited to dinner last night and I offered to make dessert.  Seeing as Halloween is just around the corner and we love, love, love Halloween, I thought I’d make a special treat for the kiddies.  Caramel apples! Who wouldn’t love that?

I started by inserting sticks into 8 apples and placing them in the fridge.  The Granny Smith apple is for Charlotte.  They’re her fave.

Next came the caramel.  In a saucepan, I added 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cups (175 ml) unsalted butter, 300 ml sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 cup corn syrup and 1/4 tsp salt.  Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Stir often or the caramel will scorch on the bottom of the pan.  Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 18-20 minutes, stirring often.

Don’t be daunted by making caramel. Just keep an eye on it and stir often. It will turn out perfect. This is a “soft-ball” caramel. Soft-ball is a term used when making candy. You need to cook the sugar syrup to a temperature of 235-240 degrees. To test if it’s ready, drop a spoonful of the caramel into a bowl of very cold water. With your fingers, gather the cooled caramel and if you can form a ball in the water, it’s done. Or do what I did and use a candy thermometer.  Soft-ball is even written right on it, next to the temperatures. Basically, it becomes a chewy caramel.

After 18 minutes, this is the colour of the caramel. Gorgeous, no?

I had this bottle of black & orange sugar crystals and thought it looked very Halloween’ish.

After dipping an apple in the caramel, I rolled the bottom half of the apples in the sugar and placed them on a sheet of tin foil which was slathered in butter. In the fridge they went for 15 minutes.

I melted some white chocolate and proceeded to make the spider webs with a piping bag.   I took a short-cut and used the micro.  You need to do it very carefully or you will burn your chocolate.  I placed my chopped chocolate, about 1 cup , in a glass bowl.  Working on medium power and for only 1 minute at a time, I melted the chocolate, stirring after every minute, for a total of about 5 minutes.  You really need to allow the chocolate to cool somewhat or it can become rather messy. And then, the final touch… spiders!

Note: The recipe calls for placing the finished apples back in the fridge, which I did. I took them over to our friend’s place and they were again placed in the fridge. When the time came for the kiddies to delve into those creepy-crawler-apples, they were hard. Rock hard! We suggested they wait a half hour to see if it would help, but how could they once they’d sunk their teeth into them? They continued their struggle until they’d had enough and that was the end of that. I had saved a couple of apples for the next day and this time I removed them from the fridge 1 hour before dinner. When the time came, I just had to have a bite.  Oh, gooey goodness!!! They were perfect! Except for that black sugar which tainted all our hands and mouths black!  Oh well.   Keeping in the spirit of Halloween, I guess!

You can see full recipe details, courtesy of CBC’s Best Recipes Ever, here.