Right. It started like this.
I wander around the supermarket shunning bad food. No, not buying chocolate. No, not buying biscuits. Not even buying condensed milk which will be turned into something naughty and if I'm really lucky I can use a recipe which does not use a whole can and leaves remnants which need cleaning up.
And it's nine o'clock at night and it's been a lovely day and what would make it even more lovely would be some kind of chewy sweet marvellousness.
Dried fruit and nuts in the cupboard.
Not going to cut it.
So, standing at the pantry I'm thinkin', you know, if you cook sugar and butter long enough it caramelizes. Wonder what happens if you add milk? Would you get a caramel-y caramel?
I cannot tell you how dangerous this discovery is to my bum. Oh so dangerous.
And I have to say I'm a little bit proud of myself.
If you have fillings these will pull them out for sure. (And if you don't yet, eat a few of these.)
It's that good, solid, chewy caramel that used to be in the middle of cobbers.
Little bit proud.
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup full cream milk
1 tsp vanilla
(Caveat: if you like the precision of a candy thermometer I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint. Don't have one. You'll be able to do this without one, I promise.)
In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter and the sugars. When melted, add the milk. Stir, stir, stir. It'll froth up. It won't look like caramel. Stir, stir, stir. It'll change colour (gradually go darker.) The earlier you pull it off the stove, the softer and 'fudgier' it'll be. So be brave, leave it on, keep the heat low and stir. The longer you leave it, the harder the caramel will set.
I can't tell you exactly how long because it depends on the heat, gas or electric, whether you've got a window open and if you're wearing high heels.
It'll eventually start to thicken up nicely, the frothiness will subside by almost half and start to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Maybe 20 minutes? Watch it closely.
Add the vanilla at the end, as you take it off the heat.
Pour it into a greased pan, I used a loaf tin, and let it cool. Mark out the squares when cool then put into fridge. Depending how long you left it on it might be rock solid in the fridge but it will soften up if you leave it out for an hour.
It truly rocks. (She says, licking her fingers.) Add nuts. Dip in chocolate. Or enjoy unadulterated.
You're very welcome.
(edited post: I made this again after posting this and it timed closer to 20 mins than 10, which was in the original post. Next time I make it I'll take and publish process shots so you can see what I mean by 'frothiness' and 'pulling away from edge of saucepan' etc.)