Thursday, February 10, 2011

Test Results Pending

One test is done.  The prognosis looks good, although the results won't be known until tomorrow.  So far, it looks like my caramel made with homemade sweetened condensed goat milk is going to be okay.  As much as I like experimenting and testing recipes, this one actually had me a little nervous.  Nervous not that it would be an epic tragedy if it didn't work out, but not knowing how my homemade sweetened condensed goat milk would react in violently boiling hot caramel.  Cleaning burnt marmalade off the stove was not something I enjoyed and I wasn't imagining caramel being any easier.

Pan before.  Most recipes I've read just call for
buttering the pan.  I'm not going to spend that
kind of time and effort and then not be able
to get the caramel out of the pan. 
I love parchment!  Absolute must have.
This is my fourth batch of caramel, and I'm learning a few things as I go.  The most important is that preparation is imperative.  Don't even think about turning any burners on until everything is ready to go at the very second it's needed.  Today I forgot to measure out my vanilla and decided at the last minute that I would add some instant coffee.  If I use coffee in the future, I believe I'll dissolve it in some milk or water first.  There are going to be a few caramels that have a much stronger coffee kick since the granules didn't dissolve the way I thought they should.
Not quite ready to pour.  Learned that
lesson the hard way. 

If this test is truly successful I can then move on to testing using the evaporated goat milk and goat butter.  I chose not to this time because I didn't want to waste the more expensive ingredients if it was a massive failure I couldn't recover.  But it would have to be a really big failure for me to throw out caramel.  (Of note though, I did make it all day yesterday without eating caramel.)

Pan after.  Waiting until tomorrow
to reveal its secrets.  Do you see the
little dark spots of undissolved
coffee granules?

And my stock is done; reduced and strained.  I'm going to leave the fat instead of skimming since I'm not planning on making consomme.  But since the hubs won't let me use the pressure canner without doing a safety check first, I had to go ahead and put the stock in the freezer for now.  But that's okay.  I already have a couple of other containers in there, so when I do get to can, I'll just do all of them at the same time.  And hope their appearances are different enough that I can tell them apart when I'm done.  Chicken noodle soup with seafood stock doesn't sound all that appealing to me.

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