tInspired by the delicious Mexican tamarind candy. Tamarind has an irresistible fruity yet insanely good tart flavor in dark caramel. As they do in Mexico, I added a little cayenne pepper and a pinch of sea salt, but taste it as it cooks and season to your own taste. Wrapped in parchment and tied with ribbon, they make beautiful Christmas gifts.
Smoked tamarind with salted caramel
Be sure to use a large skillet with high sides, as the caramel will form bubbles as it heats; You will also need a sugar thermometer.
to equip 5 minutes
cook 10 minutes
Designation 3 hours +
A few chili flakes (I used chipotle), optional
Grease a 20cm square tin and line it with greaseproof paper.
Mix the vanilla, tamarind, and lemon zest in a small bowl, season with a pinch of salt, and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the cream, mix until combined and keep warm over low heat.
Meanwhile, place sugar, golden syrup, and 2 tablespoons water in a large saucepan. Heat over moderate heat and cook, stirring gently and without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat until the mixture reaches 155°C on a sugar thermometer.
Remove the sugar pan from the heat and carefully pour in the cream mixture—I do this in two or three stages, as it will bubble up furiously. Once the cream has been added, put the pan back on low heat and stir well with a spatula until it reaches 125°C, then quickly remove it from the heat. Carefully and quickly add the tamarind mixture, stir and pour into the prepared tin.
Leave to cool for five minutes, sprinkle with salt and some chili flakes, then leave for a few hours, or overnight.
Once set, use a sharp knife to chop up the caramel
Vegans can use coconut oil and vegan cream in place of butter and cream, but you may have to add a little liquid glucose to achieve the right combination.