Last weekend my husband and I celebrated that we have been together for 11 years. I have spent more than 1/3 of my life with him now which is all kinds of crazy and wonderful and did I mention crazy?
My husband doesn't have quite the same sweet tooth that I have. Not when it comes to cakes and pastries. But if there is candy in the house, he is the sugar monster. So I wanted to make something that would bring together all the things he love in a treat. Bittersweetness, crisp dark chocolate, chewy caramel..Oh and beer. Yes, beer. I have always loved apple cider caramels, but they do tend to be on the very sweet side, and for these treats I wanted something much more tart.
I was fortunate enough to have a couple of Sur Citra sour ales from craft brewery To Øl. It is lipsmackingly tart with all kinds of sharp citrus notes that cut through the richness of the copious amounts sugar, butter and chocolate. However if you prefer your candy to the sweeter side a sweet stout might be worth giving a shot instead, maybe covered in a dark milk chocolate. Hmm, challenge accepted!
Sour Ale caramels
1l Sur Citra or similar sour ale
125g unsalted butter
200g granulated sugar
100g light brown sugar
100ml heavy cream
Large pinch of salt
300g tempered 60 or 70% dark chocolate
You will also need a large 18x18cm mold, preferably silicone, or individual 2x2cm micro molds.
Bring the beer to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan over high heat. Cook while stirring every once in a while until it has reduced to a syrup the consistency of maple syrup.
Cook while stirring continuously until the syrup is dark brown and boiling rapidly. Be careful to not let the syrup burn.
Bring the cream to just below boiling point and set aside. Carefully add the butter and sugars and mix until fully combined before adding the warm cream to the caramel.
Cook while stirring vigorously until the caramel reaches a full boil. Cook until the caramel reaches 122C on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat, stir in the salt and pour the caramel into the mould. Let it cool to room temperature, then chill overnight until fully set.
If using a larger mould, invert onto a chopping block and cut into 2x2cm caramels. If using individual moulds invert them onto a tray.
Return to the fridge while tempering the chocolate, then dip the cool caramels in chocolate. Leave to set, and then it’s party time!