Salted caramel mulled cider

Here in Germany you can hear Christmas around the corner (I won’t mention the fact that all the stores carry the typical seasonal crap since already weeks ago…). It’s beautifully autumnal right now, the yellow and red leaves are scattered everywhere and it just feels so cozy that all I want to do is curl up with a book, a nice blanket and a hot drink. So I believe the season of warm alcoholic drinks should be officially inaugurated!

This recipe is perfect to give you all the autumn feels:

  • 2l / 8 1/2 cups cider
  • 250ml / 1 cup cloudy apple juice
  • 4 tbsp salted caramel sauce
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Mix salted caramel together with cider and reserve.
  2. Put a tall pot on low heat, and pour the apple juice, vanilla pod and cinnamon. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add cider to the simmering pot and allow to bring to a boil. Take off the heat immediately and serve.

BONUS TIPS:

  • Top with whipped cream and some more salted caramel.
  • Add a scoop of ice cream: vanilla, salted caramel, cheesecake… the possibilities are endless!
  • Obviously you can also use salted caramel from a different source than my own recipe, I just think that most homemade things are much better.

Basic caramel sauce – with candy thermometer

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Here is another wonderful recipe perfect for Autumn – although let’s face it, caramel is wonderful anytime of the year!-. It was only a few years ago that I first tried making caramel. The first batch without a candy thermometer must have been beginners luck, because it turned out absolutely perfect. So I naively convinced myself that was it, I had mastered the art of caramel where so many others had failed miserably – no holding back on my chuffiness here -. It wasn’t until I tried a second time, that I realized it wasn’t all perfect in my little unicorn land. It cristallized, it crumbled, it burned on the bottom of the pot, it was a sugary mess. And then my bestie came to the rescue! She bought me a candy thermometer for Christmas, and ever since then I haven’t had a failed batch of this creamy sugary goodness.

So my first and most crucial piece of advice to you if you want to embark on this adventure of caramel making is: purchase a candy thermometer! You won’t regret it. I know there are plenty of recipes out there that don’t use one, but it’s such an imprecise science that it just doesn’t work for me. If it does for you, go you!

  • 200g / 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 120ml / 1/2 cups cream (minimum 30%)
  • 90g / 1/3 cups butter at room temperature
  1. Pour the sugar in a tall pot with some water, so the consistency will be that of wet sand. The water will evaporate with the heat anyway, so don’t worry too much about the amount. At this stage just leave the sugar to heat and do it’s thing, don’t fiddle with it, don’t brush water on the sides, just leave it alone! Trust me on this.
  2. Heat at medium high until the candy thermometer marks around 300ºF, then take off the heat.
  3. In a separate pot, or in the microwave, heat up the cream but don’t bring to a boil.
  4. Add the butter to the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. You can put it back on the stove if you have trouble melting the butter, and take it back off as soon as it’s all well mixed.
  5. Add the cream carefully, it will bubble up. Stir with a metal whisk until smooth.

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BONUS TIPS:

  • Add some salt to make salted caramel. I actually do this every single time!
  • Use on ice cream, toast, waffles or pancakes, even fruit (just yesterday, G used it to dip some apple slices and it was delicious!). The possibilities are endless!