These caramels were made for one reason only. Well actually that is a blatant lie, they are also extremely delicious and I dare you to stop at just one.
Aside for their deliciousness they were made to announce and celebrate The Sweet Swap 2014! Yes folks The Sweet Swap is happening again.
For those that participated last year, firstly I would like to send you all a big hug and thank you for jumping on board the first ever Australian Bloggers sweet exchanging event. If you didn’t participate you can read about who participated, what they made and drool right here.
Amanda and I are thrilled to host the event again this year, albeit a little later in the year than last.
This year we are reaching out to ALL Australian Bloggers. Last year we mainly had food bloggers participate as that is where we aimed our encouragement to participate. This year we would love to see parenting and lifestyle bloggers get involved too. Basically anybody who blogs and fits the T & Cs are welcome to participate.
Registrations open tomorrow (1st July), and you can sign up here.
Again we are collecting a small fee to participate. ALL monies collected (except credit card fees and Eventbrite’s cut) will be donated to Child Fund Australia. We are thrilled to have them as our charity again this year.
Last year we raised funds to provide families in Uganda with banana shoots to start their own mini banana plantations. This year we are setting our goal higher and really making it a combined blogger effort.
The goal is to raise enough funds to provide a preschool in Vietnam with clean drinking water for all its students. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that for two schools?
Unfortunately this year we don’t have a prize sponsor. We thank Russell Hobbs greatly for offering three great prizes last year, but unfortunately this year they have declined to participate. Due to the lateness in confirmation of this, neither Amanda nor I have had a chance to secure a sponsor for this year. If you are a brand or PR reading this, and would like to jump in for this year please contact me, it’s not too late to have every blogger in Australia talking about your brand/client.
In reality it is all about bloggers coming together, discovering new friends, new blogs, and having some sweet fun, not about a prize. And if we can raise some funds to help kids in need in the process, then that is pretty awesome.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone that participated last year join in the fun this year. I am also looking forward to seeing new bloggers participating. I encourage you all to jump on board The Sweet Swap train. Trust me, when you start seeing all the photos and comments across social media you will feel like you are missing out on the fun.
Now about these caramels. They are based on a Donna Hay recipe and at the last minute I turned them from chewy salted caramels into black sesame caramels. Why you ask? Well, I panicked, plain and simple. This was actually my first time making caramels and I thought that my mixture was catching and burning near the end of the cook time.
When I reached that magical temperature of 120 degrees C, I pulled the mixture off the heat and my idea was to mask any burnt bits with the black sesame seeds. As I was about to add the sesame seeds, what I thought were burnt bits seemed to blend into my mixture to create a glorious caramel colour. With 1 cup of black sesame seeds already measured out, and thinking it wasn’t actually a bad idea in any case, in they went.
Black Sesame Caramels + The Sweet Swap
- 1 cup double cream
- ¾ cup condensed milk
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 60 grams butter
- 1 cup black sesame seeds
In a small saucepan warm the cream and condensed milk over a low heat. Once just warm remove from heat and keep warm.
In a medium saucepan place corn syrup, caster sugar and water. Heat over a high heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Once sugar has dissolved stop stirring and place a candy thermometer into your mixture. Bring the sugar syrup to the boil and continue to boil until it reaches 120 degrees C.
Take off the heat and add your cream mixture and butter. Mix well and place back on the heat. Stir continuously until the mixtures reached 120 degrees C again.
Once caramel comes to temperature, remove from heat and stir through sesame seeds. Pour into a well greased and lined 18 x 28cm slice tin. Bang the tin down on the kitchen bench a few times to help any trapped air bubbles escape.
Leave to completely cool on the kitchen bench (do not put in the fridge). Once completely cool, remove from tin and cut into desired sized pieces. Wrap individual caramel pieces in cut to size baking/greaseproof paper.
Makes 40 – 50 pieces depending on the size you cut them into.
The more bloggers that participate in The Sweet Swap the merrier. Help us get the word out there that it is on again this year. Encourage your blogger friends to participate, give the event a shout out in social media.
To follow all the fun of The Sweet Swap
Look forward to seeing you participate and joining in the fun for 2014.