I was so excited to hear about The Sweet Swap for 2014. Sadly I was so busy and missed out on last year’s registration. The Sweet Swap is organised by two amazing Bloggers. Sara from Belly Rumbles and Amanda from Chewtown. The concept is simple, you make enough sweets to send to 3 Bloggers all around Australia and in turn you will receive 3 delicious sweets back.
I decided that I was going to make a Filipino sweet called Pastillas De Ube. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out and I was left with a tray of purple goo. I was running out of time and remembered a recipe that I made in the past with my friend Trissa. These salted caramels are delicious. I wanted to change it up, so I added some chilli flakes and fennel seeds.
Rockpool’s Salted Caramels (with a hint of Fennel and Chilli)
500 grams caster sugar
250 grams liquid glucose
435 grams pouring cream (35% fat)
125 grams butter (I used Lurpak), cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes, such as Murray River pink sea salt, mixed with 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes and1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1. Grease a 22cm square cake tin with cooking spray and line with good quality wax paper. Spray again.
2. In a large pot, combine the sugar, glucose and cream. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook gently until the mixture reaches a temperature of 113c. (It took me approximately 15 minutes to reach that heat).
3. Using a whisk, add the butter and continue to mix until the butter has dissolved into the mixture. From here on, do not stir. Let the temperature reach 119c and remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the vanilla paste. Pour the mixture on to the greased pan. Quickly scatter the sea salt mixture on top of the caramel.
4. Allow the caramel to rest and cool. This should take around 2 to 3 hours. Once the caramel has cooled, remove it from the tin, remove the wax paper and cut into 1.5 cm strips. Then cut each strip into 2 cm pieces. Wrap in cellophane (or baking paper) and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.
As part of the Sweet Swap, I received 3 delicious sweets. The first one arrived from Cassie from Journey From Within, she made a delicious Rocky Road full of delicious nuts, marshmallows and she added a little rice bubbles for some Snap, Crackle and Pop.
The second package came from Gabby and Norman from Baking with Gab, Gabby made some delicate Meringues, which unfortunately didn't all make it out alive. They still tasted delicious. She made two flavours which were Earl Grey and Orange and Rose Water and Pistachio. So dainty and so easy to eat, especially with the tea blend that Gabby sent with the sweets.
The last Sweet Swap treat came from Kate from Foodies Agenda, she made a Choc Hazelnut and Banana Granola. This was delicious over the top of some light Greek yoghurt. I pretty much demolished this on the day that I received it. It was fantastic.
The Sweet Swap was a fun experience and I enjoyed waiting for sweet treats to arrive in the mail. I cant wait till next year. Not only is this a fun way to meet Bloggers all over Australia, Sara and Amanda have also done this to raise money for Child Fund Australia. Did you know that $390.00 can provide Children with clean drinking water? If you would like to donate to Child Fund Australia please go to http://www.childfund.org.au