and then… it kinda, sorta worked…

Ok… so we all know that I participated in my little online Top Chef Just Desserts elimination challenge (as hosted by Kelly @ evilshenanigans).  And we all know that I wasn’t pleased with the outcome… actually I was flat-out disappointed that it didn’t work out.  I promised to try again.  And I did.  Yup.  I went home – baked a wedding cake (apple spice and carrot cakes), baked some cupcakes, went to Costco… and then pulled out all my ingredients to re-attempt my bake sale elimination challengesalted caramel.

I decided to do a little research before starting – thank you David Lebovitz and James Peterson for offering some helpful advice.  I realized two things:  I have a candy thermometer – –  I should use it!!!! And, I should also use my largest saucepan – that way the caramel cooks more evenly.  Done & Done!

Out came the brown sugar, the sweetened condensed milk, butter and honey – all were thrown into the large saucepan and out came my whisk.  Over medium-high heat I whisked it as it melted down, thickened and came to a boil.  Time for the candy thermometer – in it went; and while I vigorously whisked for 3 minutes (as opposed to the original 5 minutes), the candy thermometer informed me that I was getting to the soft ball stage.  At just under 245 F, I removed the caramel from the burner, and continued to whisk it for another 2 minutes.  The result was as thick as the day before, just not as dark in colour.  I figure that’s a good thing… since getting it too dark means that I over cook the caramel… so paler is good.

I poured the sweet, gooey sauce into my pre-sprayed and lined 9-inch loaf pan, then allowed it to cool for about 45 minutes. Looking good… right?

Time to melt my chocolate chips.  No issues there.  Once ready… I poured the melted chocolate over the now firm caramel, and finished it off with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt and bacon bits.  Yup – you read correctly – – I sprinkled some bacon bits on top of the chocolate (along with the sea salt).  This is going to be some yummy salty / sweet goodness.

See… I was able to cut through it!  I count this version far more successful than my first attempt.

I tried a piece this morning (eating salted caramel at 6:25 am is not the smartest thing…) and was super happy with it… and I still think it would be a pretty popular goodie at a bake sale ;0)

Check out what the others made!

evilshenanigans baked a beautiful bunch of sweet potato cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting

the pêche made a batch of peanut butter crispy bars (very similar to my peanut butter pretzel bars… just different base)

restless chipotle baked up some pretty sweet lookin’ fluffernutter whoopie pies(check out the pictures… you’ll see one very happy face biting into her whoopie pie)

fun as we go‘s offering was some tasty looking raspberry squares I would probably be hanging out in front of her table.  These look good.  Real good.

food. soil. thread baked up zucchini coconut bread

annie’s dish whipped up some fluffernutter brownies – I want one.  now.

flamingo musings pumpkin rocky road brownies look pretty darn sweet (both literally and figuratively)

Which ones would you buy?  Or perhaps bake if you were bringing in some goodies?  Or would you make something completely different?  I’d love to know :0)


9 thoughts on “and then… it kinda, sorta worked…

  1. Sounds fabulous, once again!

    By the way, if ever you want to attempt another kind of challenge, I’ve got three different bottles of Sauterne that would love to be matched with a dessert. Dessert and wine tasting – wouldn’t that be fab? Julie thought I should mention it to you 😉

    • Count me in!!!! and of course Julie thought you should mention it – – whenever I add lemoncello to my desserts she’s convinced it’s the best thing I’ve ever made… and that’s before trying it! :0)

  2. Practice make progress and you really progressed on this second attempt. Your caramel brownies look scrumptious. Love the bacon on top! Totally a bake sale *original* item.

  3. Like I said, candy is a different story, it’s like working in a lab with a thermometer and a timer…you could also try a small piece in the freezer, like making jelly? It looks delish with the chocolate on top, like Purdy’s bars!

    • Thanks Paula and Michele!
      I think I’m going to make another batch this weekend… only in individual candy wrappers – easy to pop in your mouth :0)

  4. Pingback: not your typical cheesecake « the twisted chef

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s