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Monday, February 22, 2016

Black Truffle Caramels

I have a partnership with The Tasteful Olive in downtown Overland Park, KS. I sometimes do classes there, but mostly I get swag...in exchange for writing a few recipes using said swag. Considering starting your own business won't turn me a profit for about two or three years, this is a pretty sweet deal(pun intended). I get my hands on fine ingredients and I get to experiment at my secret foodie workshop with everything else at my disposal; this is very fun and I absolutely adore doing it.

Being on a sweets fix as of late, I thought about using this black truffle sea salt(with nice little truffle chunks from Italy) in brownies, but I was afraid that chocolate would overpower their delicate-yet-sock-like flavor. Truffles are that sort of ooky-nasty-umami-ish flavor that you just can't describe, and I wanted it to shine. My favorite ways to have black truffles are with soft-poached eggs or with potatoes, but I truly think that savory ingredients have a good place with sweets. Here's how to make my Black Truffle Salted Caramels.

Black Truffle Caramels

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus three tablespoons white sugar(8 oz, by weight)
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 1 tsp black truffle sea salt plus more for the top
  • 2 Tbsp local honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp truffle oil**
Butter a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper and line a sheet pan with it. You can use a loaf pan for higher sides, or just a plain old cookie sheet for thin caramel wafers...it's really whatever you like.

Measure our your sugar, water, vinegar, and black truffle salt into a saucepot. Bring it to a boil. Simply let it cook, without stirring it, if you please, until it turns a golden color. Turn off your burner and swirl the mixture around. The carryover heat will allow you to let it come to a deep amber color with a little less fear. 

Glob in the honey when the color has reached this stage to stop the cooking. Next, pop in your butter and truffle oil, if you're using it, and stir using a wooden spoon. Wood is an excellent tool for making candy, as it doesn't conduct heat well. Stir the bejeezus out of it until all of the butter and oil has dissolved into the caramel and turned silky. Scrape your caramel into the prepared(and well-greased) molds. Sure, you can just dump it onto a silpat mat and shape it using candy rulers, but not everyone has those, so I prefer to use what everyone may have in the cabinets.

Once your caramels are in the mold of your choice, simply let set and sprinkle with plenty more black truffle salt. I used a little less than half a teaspoon on the top, but you can add more. I love a little salty with my sweet, and I simply adore this recipe.

Let cool entirely before you cut into squares! Happy cooking, happy eating, and visit The Tasteful Olive. Oh, and follow me on Instagram.

A photo posted by Chef Kolika (@wannabgourmande) on

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