My first introduction to caramel apples was when I was about 12 years old. My Young Women's leader (church) took our class to Manly beach which we thought was so awesome. Little did we know that her ulterior motive was to swing by the Fudge Shop to pick up a caramel apple. She encouraged us all to purchase one, but I only had $15 for the day and I had to purchase my train ticket and my lunch. I didn't think I could spare $3.50 on a caramel apple! Back then my treat was filling up on lollies at "Lollypops" which was a candy by the weight store which was heaven to me!! So there was no way I was buying one. I didn't know why she was insistent we get one at the time. It became clearer later when we were at the beach. When we reached Manly beach and she opened her caramel apple and ate every last morsel. I thought for sure she would offer us to try some, but she didn't! She went on about how delicious it was and how we really should have got one too. We all sat staring at her for a moment or too creating memories of how amazing it must have been. That was when I realised I must try a caramel apple for myself. Once I did I was hooked and once I realised I could make them for myself I knew I had to, but unfortunately it has taken me 22 years to pluck the courage to attempt it! Why so long I am sure you are asking your monitor? Well, I am not sure really. I have had many American friends make them for me when I mention I like caramel apples but when I read "candy thermometer" and "stir continuously" I tend to freak out!!
However, once I realised the capabilities of my HMP, I knew that I could no longer be afraid of making my beloved caramel apples. So I did and I am happy with my results. I know I can improve in some areas, as we all do, but making caramel in the HMP is so easy and its very hard to fail!
I also want to mentioned that this recipe is corn syrup and glucose syrup free. I have read many an article about corn syrup being not good for your body. I usually replace corn syrup with glucose syrup instead, but I've also heard some not so good things about that too. So I decided to look into how to make caramel without either. Once upon a time I loved honey on everything, but now I don't. So the suggestion to use honey was not keenly received. I saw many recipes suggesting this, but I once made caramel fudge using honey and my family complained about it tasting funny. Since they were going to be the taste testers for my caramel apples, this notion was rejected. I thought about what I could replace it with and discovered some left over golden syrup from our gingerbread mansion at Christmas time. So I figured I'd give this ago. And I can tell you people, this was the winner. My secret ingredient if you will, well not so secret I suppose but I will run with it! This really is the best caramel I have made, and my family was all over it! I hope you like it too:)
6-8 small granny smith apples washed, dried and stems removed
paddle pop stick - or the like for each apple
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup of brown sugar (well packed)
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 stick of butter (approx. 56g)
5ml Vanilla extract
1. Add all ingredients expect the vanilla to HMP. Select wait temp for 116C on speed 1. Make sure you have your centre lid stopper in place.
2. Line baking tray with baking paper and push sticks into apples. Make room in your fridge for apples as you will need them to set in the fridge.
3. At sound of beep, with a tea towel, carefully lift the lid and add vanilla. Replace lid and stir for 20 sec on speed 1.
4. Allow bubbles to subside and dip each apple into the mixture. You will need to take the jug out and tilt it a little to coat each apple.
5. Stand them on the baking paper. Allow to cool then put them in the fridge to set.
You can eat them on the stick or you can cut them into wedges for easy eating or for sharing in big groups.
Yes it is that simple and you can fill in the time while the caramel is cooking with whatever takes your fancy, because the machine does it all for you. How awesome is that!!
For next time, I want to double the recipe so I can double dip the apples. You can also add chopped nuts, melted chocolate, M&M minis, and other amazing things to your apples, just check out Pinterest for ideas!!