One of the fun things about living abroad is trying out new brands of food, like this yogurt from France. I tried one… and quickly became obsessed. I think it’s because we don’t actually get real milk here (I don’t think raw milk is available and all of the milk comes from Australia or (used to come from) Japan so its been pasteurized for Extended Shelf Life, meaning much of it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated).
So this la fermière really does it for me. The only issue is that it comes in these delightful little clay pots that are impossible to throw away. So they began to stack up…
Until I realized that once painted gold they would be the most adorable pot of gold for St. Paddy’s day.
Unsure of whether the $1 US can of spray paint I found here was safe…
I stuffed the jars with saran wrap to keep the paint far from the food… which was to be my Aunt Steph’s famous caramel nut corn. I was able to find golden syrup, the key ingredient, at Grate.
- 4 cups shelled pecans
- 4 cups shelled almonds
- 2 cups macadamia nuts
- 2 cups toasted coconut
- 12 cups popped corn
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup golden syrup
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 pound unsalted butter
1. Toast the nuts separately on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Combine the popcorn and nuts in a lightly oiled bowl. Toss to distribute evenly.
2. Combine the sugar, syrup and water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
3. Add the butter and continue cooking until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F.., about five minutes.
4. Pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and nut mixture. Quickly toss to coat the mixture with the caramel, and spread it in a thin layer on 2 lightly oiled baking sheets.
5. Cool completely before breaking into bite size pieces. Store in airtight containers until ready to use.
A few closing thoughts for first-times candy makers:
1. Yes, you can do it. Making candy really is not that hard and it’s a pretty quick endeavor as well.
2. A candy thermometer is a must. The difference between hard crack (candy) and soft crack (caramel) is just a few degrees.
3. You must be speedy! The candy will seize very quickly so having an extra pair of hands handy for the mixing is very helpful. I was home alone and so my candy (above) was not as well mixed as it could have been.
Next post: I’ll show you the whole St. Paddy’s day dessert spread!