Since I’m going to be at Urban Craft this weekend, celebrating all things sweet and hopefully selling some delicious things, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight a few of the things that I will have on offer.
I’ve never been afraid of eating sugar. No, siree. My favourite candy as a kid was rock candy, from the science museum, flavoured root beer (I have a love for sarsaparilla that knows no bounds). I’ve had good teeth my whole life, save for a stint with braces, but that’s not for having restrained myself in the department of sugar.
What scared me about sugar was cooking it. Boiling water? No problem. (No really. If it were, we wouldn’t be here.) Boiling things *in* water is also not an issue. Heck, even making a sugar syrup (sugar + water) for an Italian meringue is something that I’m familiar with and all too happy to do. But, then I read that Rachel was boiling sugar for the glue in her gingerbread houses. And that seemed scary, but I tried it. And it did not fail. In fact, it was the sturdiest gingerbread hovel of all time.
Fast forward to a few months later, on a trip to Paris, where I discovered salted caramel with good quality butter that would make your knees buckle (unfortunate, since we were trying to see Paris on foot, which is difficult with buckled knees). Some people come home from France with a craving for macarons or a penchant for high fashion. I came home with the desire to find the best butter and make salted caramel. And with a longing for a good ham sandwich.
So began the process of boiling sugar on a regular basis in this house, and even though it’s still a little daunting at first – the sugar crystals stick together and you wonder if it’ll cook evenly in the end – the result is a silky smooth, warm, caramel that you want to pour on everything, especially on everything that comes out of a bakery. This stuff is addictive, but I love putting it on toasted french bread (with or without nut butter), serving it with warm brownies, or drizzling it over ice cream. Or, eat it with a spoon when a ferocious sugar craving hits. I won’t tell if you do.