One of the foods I enjoyed in Brittany were the salted caramels. I had heard about them because of a NY Times article earlier this year:
Today, I opened a box of cookies called “tartellettes caramel chocolat” and remembered why they were so good. That led to the search for recipes since I won’t be able to buy them easily here in San Diego.
The cleanest recipe I found came from the website
The recipe for salted butter caramel
– 300g sugar
– 80g salted butter
– 25cl whipped cream
– 2 tablespoons of water
– a pinch of sea salt.
In a heavy-based large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in two tablespoons of water over a very low heat (it is recommended that you leave the sugar mixture sit for a very long time so that the caramel is smooth).
When the mixture starts to darken, stir it frequently until a soft and smooth caramel is obtained. Add the cream. It is essential that it is set over a low heat. When the caramel is very smooth and clear, allow it to cool down slightly before adding the chopped-up butter and a sprinkling of sea salt. To finish, pour into a glass jar.
And finally, the perfect way to end a beautiful, sunny day holidaying along France’s west coast, consists of a stop off at La Fraiseraie. Everyone should savour the taste of this ice-cream parlour’s salted butter caramel flavour at least once in their lives. The taste is unparalleled and perhaps only equaled by La Fraiseraie’s strawberry, raspberry or passion fruit flavours!
A great looking collection of recipes (albeit in french) can be found
Some other recipes that sound fantastic come from
Breton pastry with salted caramel apples
Breton pastry is a delicious cross between shortbread and sponge cake, which originated in Brittany in north-western France. It takes less time to make than other pastries because it requires no chilling or resting; just make and bake. There are so many options for topping this versatile biscuit; this recipe for salted caramel apples is incredibly easy, and the spicy apple flavour works well with the pastry’s buttery richness.
Simple Breton pastry make a lovely spongy base for these salted caramel apples. Photo: Marcel Aucar
For salted caramel apples
2 cups granulated sugar
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
1 cup thickened cream, at room temperature
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
pinch ground nutmeg
1 tsp fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)
5 granny smith or fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm-thick slices
For Breton pastry
4 egg yolks
175g castor sugar
160g butter, softened
220g plain flour
8g baking powder
For salted caramel apples
Pour the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy, two to three-litre saucepan. Heat over medium-high, whisking gently as it begins to melt. The sugar will begin to form clumps, which will melt away as you whisk.
When the sugar turns a deep amber colour, add the butter and whisk, being careful to not get burnt if it spits.
Add the cream, spices and salt. Mix until well incorporated.
Add the apples and cook gently for five minutes or until the fruit has softened. Let cool slightly, then serve on the Breton pastry with a scoop of creme fraiche.
For the pastry
Place yolks in a electric mixer fitted with a whisk and begin whisking on high speed. Add the sugar gradually and continue whisking until pale and creamy.
In a separate bowl, beat butter until smooth. Turn speed down to low and add the butter to the mixer, one-quarter at a time, whisking well between each addition but not so much as to deflate the yolk mixture.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift in the flour and baking powder. Using a rubber spatula, work the flour in gently until well combined. Scrape the contents of the bowl onto a work surface and bring the dough together, making sure not to overwork it.
The pastry is ready to use either to line tart rings or rolled out to make biscuits. Spray 5cm tart rings with canola oil and dust with flour. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Gently press pastry into the ring, pressing it to the edges to form a border around the edge.
Bake in a 165C oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the pastries have puffed up and are golden-brown. The pastry shrinks slightly as it cools. Place on a rack to cool before adding topping.
The excess uncooked pastry can be frozen and kept for up to three weeks before being thawed and cooked.
Alternative topping suggestions for Breton pastry: Chocolate mousse with roasted figs, crushed summer berries, or lemon verbena panna cotta.
And another salted caramel recipe is:
Salted butter caramels
These caramels can be made with any type of sugar and butter, although the flavour is better with quality ingredients.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
375g raw castor sugar
250g good-quality salted butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
5 tbsp creme fraiche
Sea salt flakes to garnish
Grease and line a 20-centimetre square slice tin with baking paper. In a heavy-based saucepan, place the sugar over a medium heat. Cook to quite a dark caramel. Turn the heat down low and carefully add the butter, a few cubes at a time, making sure it is all incorporated before adding more.
Stir in creme fraiche and continue to cook until thickened (118C on a digital or sugar thermometer). Pour into tray and sprinkle over salt flakes. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until set. Cut into squares to serve.