Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Culinary THROW DOWN: Salt
When La Diva announced the theme for this particular Culinary Throw Down, I was stumped. I mean, what recipe doesn't feature salt? I was also in the middle of a two-week period of planning, shopping, and cooking for a holiday party, so I have to admit, I didn't give this much thought until yesterday.
Which is when I ate the last of the chocolate truffles I made for Saturday's party, and thought: mmmmm . . . these would be great sprinkled with a little salt.
So I went online to Foodwishes.com and found this recipe for sea salt sprinkled chocolate coins. Except for the stoooooooopid caramelizing the sugar part, which somehow I always fork up (but made it work), this recipe is easy-peasy and fun to make. The texture is perfect (dense but not snappy), and after the initial hit of mellow caramel-tinged chocolate on the tongue, the salt comes to the fore with a fizzy, Pop Rocks zing.
I won't bother noting the recipe here, since Food Wishes contains excellent written and video instructions. Except, I do have to point out that I seem to be utterly incapable of caramelizing sugar. This isn't the first time it's gone to the hard candy stage before properly browning, and it never, ever bubbles like in the video. So what I usually do is dissolve as much of the hardened caramel as I have patience for and then squirt in a couple tablespoons of Kraft Caramel sauce and leave it at that. Works just fine.
Oh, and while this gent sprinkles them with cocoa, I think it would be much, much more fun to go to Hobby Lobby and buy a cute little rubber stamp with which to imprint each coin. Then, wrap them up in gold and silver foils from Sugarcraft.com, tie six to a bundle with some blingy ribbon, and use them as stocking stuffers or hostess gifts this holiday season.
Head over to La Diva's site to see who else is participating.