This week’s GBBO episode centred around the sweet luscious treat of caramel, a first for the series. There were enough millionaires slices with thick layers of homemade caramel to keep those with a sweet tooth very happy!
The bakers in the GBBO tent were charged with making a caramel for their signature bake of 18 millionaires slices which were firm enough to hold their shape, but not too firm for it to become chewy when eaten. It was clearly quite a technical challenge with the vast majority of them using a sugar thermometer, waiting for the mixture to reach soft ball stage.
But what if I tell you that the caramel in this Salted Caramel Pie recipe is really easy to make, and that it holds its shape without having to boil the sugar and cream mixture to a precise temperature, with your fingers crossed hoping that the caramel filling doesn’t ooze out in front of your dinner guests once it’s sliced into!
Are you ready to learn the secret of this easy homemade Salted Caramel Pie? And when I tell you, feel free to share it with your friends and family, or even shout it from the roof tops!
It’s all down to the wonders of Dr Oetker’s Vege-Gel!
Dr Oetker’s Vege-Gel, as the name suggests, is a vegetarian powder which has the ability to set one pint of liquid (570ml) quickly and easily. Living in a vegetarian household, it’s a product that I’m familiar with and have used in a number of sweet and savoury bakes which feature here on Only Crumbs Remain, from our Bilberry & White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake and Mini Trifle Cakes to our Vegetarian ‘Pork’ Pies and Vegetarian ‘Game’ Pie.
So when the lovely people at Dr Oetker contacted me to ask if I’d like to make one of their many recipes using Dr Oetker’s Vege-Gel I jumped at the chance, because I know that it’s such a great product. They very kindly supplied me with some of their Vege-Gel to allow me to make this recipe, and they’re also being incredibly generous by bundling up a fantastic range of vegetarian baking products which I shall be offering to one of you lovely readers via a giveaway next week! We’re calling it the Dr Oetker’s Baking Bundle and it’s perfect for all sorts of baking activities.
So do remember to call back next week!
Of course, being made with a gelling agent does give this Salted Caramel Pie a firmer consistency, but the ease at which it is made means that it’s perfect for those special meals and dinner parties. One of the qualities of Vege-Gel is that it sets quite quickly, meaning you have to be organised during the bake. But for me, that simply means the dessert can be served quicker than had an animal based gelatine been used! I for one am all in favour of that!
I’m sure you know that salted caramel is incredibly in vogue at the moment. Although the sweet caramel and ‘salty’ salt are complete opposites with regard to flavour, it is this yin-yang effect which tantalises the taste buds bringing people back for more!
And although the original recipe doesn’t include any chocolate, I felt that the flavour sensation would be further enhanced with the introduction of dark chocolate. It’s peppered through the crushed biscuit base and is also used in a two ingredient chocolate sauce! If you’re not convinced about the dark chocolate, just think about the component parts of a Twix or millionaires slice, for instance. Regular readers of Only Crumbs Remain may know that both Mr E and I aren’t huge fans of dark chocolate but Dr Oetker’s Dark Chocolate made with 54% cocoa solids was the perfect solution, being able to cut through the sweetness of the caramel without being too dark and bitter for our taste buds.
So, here’s how to make a Salted Caramel Pie served with a chocolate sauce!
a sugar thermometer. The yin-yang flavour combination of the salted
caramel is further enhanced with the dark chocolate pieces peppered through the
biscuit base and the 2 ingredient chocolate sauce to serve. It can be
made ahead of time making it the perfect dessert for dinner parties!
Hand on time: 30 mins Cook time: 0 mins + chilling time Yield: 1 x 20cm or 22cm pie, serves 8
20cm or 22cm diameter Loose Bottom Tart Case (see note a below)
Heavy Based Pan
For the Biscuit Base
- 240g Digestive Biscuits
- 120g Lightly Salted Butter + extra for greasing
- 60g Dark Chocolate (such as Dr Oetker’s 54% Cocoa mass) (optional)
For the Caramel Filling
- 250ml Cold Water
- 1 (6.5g) Dr Oetker’s Vege-Gel Sachet
- 60ml Cold Water
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 30ml Golden Syrup
- 50g Salted Butter
- 100ml Double Cream
- pinch of Sea Salt Flakes, to decorate
For the Chocolate Sauce (optional)
- 230ml Double cream
- 80g Dark Chocolate (we used Dr Oetker’s dark chocolate with 54% cocoa solids, though Dr Oetker’s Extra Dark Choacolate with 72% cocoa solids would be great too)
Notes: a) We didn’t have a suitable pie tin to hand so used a 20cm springform cake tin which made removing the set tart quite easy. Avoid using a pie case with a scalloped edge. b) To avoid disturbing too much of the biscuit base beneath, pour the caramel over the back of a large metal or wooden spoon. c) If there are one or two bubbles on the surface of the caramel after filling the pie dish quickly pop then with a cake skewer or the handle of a spoon before the caramel jelly begins to set. d) Caramel is very hot, do ensure animal, babies, children and other vulnerable people are kept safe when making caramel.
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