Caramel Day is dedicated to the rich, gooey, delicious substance made with the dark alchemy of the culinary arts. It is the known as Caramel, which is in fact born out of the rather exacting process of caramelization. The process is deceptively simple, you need merely increase the heat of sugar to a mere 170 °C (340 °F), at which point the sugar breaks down and turns into this much delectable substance with its rich golden color and iconic flavor. This is just the start of this process, the beginning of a trek to that which we think of as ‘Caramel’, that coater of Apples and binder of popcorn.
To truly make the caramel we all dearly love, there are a couple approaches. One is to caramelize the sugar, and then add the cream, butter, and vanilla that brings out the flavors we dearly love. The other process involves adding them all together, and cooking the mixture until the milk caramelizes, but not the sugar. This sort of caramel is known as ‘milk caramel’.
Whatever your favorite form of caramel is, this day is the day you can celebrate it by sharing it with friends, family, and co-workers alike. You can prepare little bags of mixed types of caramel, with little cards in it talking about the history of this delectable treat, and perhaps a recipe for them to try making their own at home! If you’re feeling truly adventurous, you can bring in confections of your own creation!
The best part about Caramel Day is it gives you an excuse to put this wonderful treat on anything you can think of! Caramel really does go wonderfully with just about anything, so take it upon yourself to whip up a dish of traditional brownies, and you can either mix the caramel in as a marbling, or drizzle it on top and sprinkle it with walnuts for a special treat.
If you want something a little lighter, but still having that rich caramel flavor, you can create a batch of apple or pumpkin spice cupcakes, top them with a delicious buttercream frosting, and drizzle with caramel! These rich flavors and smells are reminiscent of the fall and winter holidays, and will inevitably bring a warm cozy feeling to your home while your mouth rejoices at the wonderful flavor of caramel in your mouth!
Most people are familiar with the Turtle candies, those rich droplets of caramel made with pecans and dipped in chocolate. These treats are incredibly popular no matter where you go, and this day we offer up a unique twist on them. For this dish you prepare a traditional chocolate cake batter, and pour it in to a cupcake tray. You then marbleize in some caramel and pecans, and set your cupcakes to bake. Once completed top it off with a vanilla cream frosting, a drizzle of caramel, and a single pecan to finish it off!
Caramel is really a versatile topping, able to go on top of any form of fruit, be they pears, peaches, or the traditional apples. Even better is to use this treat as the topping for the ice cream on a banana split! One other treat that only goes better with caramel is apple pie. Mix some caramel into the apple filling and then drizzle the top with rich, creamy, delicious caramel sauce and your pie will go from ‘All American’ to ‘All Star!’ quality. No matter how you choose to celebrate this Caramel Day, make sure you spread the joy by taking those delectable treats to others.