City Palate

The Harvest Issue - September October 2017

Lemongrass Caramels
Mar/Apr 2009

2 – 2-1/4 c. whipping cream
1 - 2 stalks lemongrass
1 c. golden syrup (Roger’s or Lyle’s)
2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter
Maldon salt for garnish.

In a medium saucepan, warm the cream until bubbles start to form around the edges. As it heats, peel away the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass and cut off the stem end. Bruise the tender, pale bulb at the bottom with the blunt side of a knife, then coarsely chop it and add it to the cream. Let the cream simmer for 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and set aside to cool. When it is warm but not hot, strain the cream through a fine sieve into another measuring cup; add a little extra cream if necessary to bring it back to 2 cups. Reserve.

Line the bottom and sides of a 9” x 9” baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment and lightly grease. Combine the syrup, sugar, and salt in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash off any sugar that accumulates on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover and cook for about 3 more minutes.

Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more if need be. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, uncovered, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 305°F. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat and set aside.

When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning to more frequently at the end, until the mixture reaches 260°F.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for an hour or so, until slightly firm but still tacky. Sprinkle the surface lightly with Maldon salt, pressing gently to help it adhere. Leave for another 3 to 4 hours, or until firm.

Invert the sheet of caramel onto a dry cutting board or sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the foil and, if you like, sprinkle the other side with more salt. Cut the caramels with a large, sharp knife. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.