Here's an unusual ingredient to make homemade caramel with- beef tallow, the rendered fat from a cow!
My inspiration- a recipe for duck fat caramels- http://www.dartagnan.com/duck-fat-caramels-recipe.html
I'm actually making meatloaf chocolate bars and I'm using beef tallow caramels because when I think of meatloaf for my meatloaf hybrid recipes, I usually think of beef being the dominant flavor.
But don't worry, this caramel tastes nothing like beef at all- it's very buttery, albeit greasy. Once you ignore the greasiness of the caramel, it tastes like all the other types of caramel you'd normally find made. Most caramel is actually made from butter. The caramel is very rich.
I was surprised this recipe worked, considering this was my first time making my own caramel. It's a lot easier than I imagined making caramel. But the key piece of equipment you need is a candy thermometer, which will tell you when the caramel is done simmering.
You may notice I didn't show me eating the caramel- I lost the footage of me doing that and initially, I was planning on making the caramel making part of this recipe part of a longer recipe of me actually making the meatloaf chocolate bars.
But I realized people on the Internet has a very short attention span and would rather sit through a 3 minute video than a 8 or 9 minute one.
I didn't say this on video, but the caramel reminded me of the Werther's Caramel I had to suck on the day before my liver resection, as I was on a liquid and hard candy-only diet that day. Anything I can suck on was allowed(get your minds out of the gutter, people!).
I don't want to give away how the meatloaf chocolate bars tasted but I can tell you the sweet caramel pairs well with savory flavors.
HELPFUL LINK: Beef Tallow: https://epicbar.com/animal-oils-detail/27
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
A medium saucepot
A large 3-4 quart saucepot
A candy thermometer
A square 8-inch baking dish
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. beef tallow(see HELPFUL LINK)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1. Put the first 4 ingredients into a medium saucepot. Bring the contents of the saucepot to a boil.
2. Once the contents are boiling, turn the flame off completely and move the medium saucepot to a cool burner.
3. Attach a candy thermometer to a large saucepot and put the rest of the ingredients in there.
4. Bring the contents of the large saucepot to a boil, stirring the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves.
5. Gently swirl the boiling mixture with a spoon. Let the mixture boil until it turns a light caramel color.
6. Once the mixture is a light caramel color, pour the beef tallow mixture in the medium saucepot into the sugar mixture. Be very careful, the beef tallow mixture is still hot! The mixture will bubble, so at this point, reduce the heat to a simmer.
7. Let the mixture simmer until the temperature on the candy thermometer reads 248 degrees Fahrenheit exactly, stirring frequently.
8. Spray a square 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the caramel mixture into the baking dish. The caramel is very hot!
9. Let the caramel cool at room temperature for 45 minutes.
10. Spray a sharp knife and fork with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the caramel into 1-inch squares(ideally). Put each square onto a large sheet of wax paper(given that the caramel is greasy).
11. Wrap the wax paper around the caramel horizontally. Twist each end of the wax paper.
12. The caramel should last 2 weeks. Use it in a chocolate recipe, dip it in melted chocolate, or eat it as is. Bon appetit!