Wednesday, May 30, 2012

pierre herme's macarons- montebello.


I think this is one of the best batches of macarons I've ever made! No large gaping air pockets and all. But the neon pink was totally unintentional. I wanted red but turns out there's more to getting a red macaron than just adding red food colouring.


Montebello is a pistachio-raspberry combination. I cheated a bit by just sandwiching half a fresh raspberry in with the pistachio ganache instead of making the raspberry gelatin like the recipe said to, because I was making such a small quantity (6 macarons only) that it was too fussy. The only worry is that the juices from the raspberry may spurt out and drip from the sides of the macaron.


If you would like the recipe, please head over here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

tango.


I think I took it a leetle too far.

Perhaps I should first give you the context to this very troubling tart.


Tango is a creation that can be found in the book Pierre Herme's Pastries, a riff of the classic linzer torte. It is made of a sesame tart base, parmesan mousse, raspberry and red bell pepper "jam" of sorts and topped with fresh raspberries.

I followed most of the recipe but I had to make an emergency swap of black sesame seeds for the intended white because I had none, and I omitted the jam, instead replacing it with... wait for it...

Ketchup.


The red saucy stuff I shamelessly smother my fried chicken in, douse on top of countless fried eggs and spoon into my mouth when I think no one is looking. Yes. That ketchup.

I have no idea what in the word possessed me to make such a substitution. Maybe because it was also red and somewhat jammy. Or perhaps because the "jam" in the recipe had red bell peppers in it, and didn't require a lot of added sugar. I should have thought of the fact that raspberries already have natural sweetness in them besides tartness, and thus that does not necessitate the use of too much sugar. Which is why, using ketchup would be a very much less sweeter stand-in.


Luckily, I did not use too much of it. I spread only a meagre amount onto each tart base, so I did not have to cringe throughout eating the tart.

On hindsight, it was not just the ketchup which kind of made this tart off-putting. I felt that the parmesan mousse was way too cheesy and had too little sugar. It is absolutely unlike this cheddar cheese loaf I made last time, which had a near perfect balance of cheese to sugar that made you want to stick your fork in for more. And paired together with the ketchup, I was seriously wondering if I was eating dessert or a really strange appetizer.


The sesame tart crust further added a savoriness which threw me into a spiral of despair. How can one recipe go so horribly wrong? It's not a bad crust, in fact, on its own it would be a pretty darn good cracker, but I was missing the sugar!

It was the raspberries which saved the day. Finally, they supplied the sweetness I was looking for and made the tart so much more palatable.


I admit that this whole fiasco is partially my fault, with the big ketchup boo-boo and all, but I still have to say that that parmesan mousse and I, we have issues.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

burnt sugar bundt cake with coffee caramel frosting.


I think burnt sugar bundt cake is really just a fancy name for caramel bundt cake, don't you? But it does does the job of making the recipe seem more intriguing.

In the picture in Baked Explorations, the cake seemed much darker and so I guess I should have cooked the caramel further but having used a dark saucepan, I couldn't accurately judge the colour of the caramel. If I had a darker caramel, it would be more apparent in the cake. I ended up with one that had a faint caramel hint reminiscent of light brown sugar.


The cake batter was one of the stiffest I've ever mixed up. I knew then that it was going to be quite a sturdy and substantial cake. Don't underestimate a small slice! I was pretty stuffed after trying to be a little greedy.

I went a little overboard with the baking time and the cake was a bit dry. So luckily I had the frosting although I do think that sans frosting and half an hour or so out of the oven with its crust all crispy and crunchy, it would be pretty darn good too. Anyway, the cake was supposed to be frosted with a caramel-rum frosting but I decided to switch tracks and go with my favourite combination of caramel and coffee instead. Any caramel macchiato fanatics here too? I used a modest amount of coffee extract that complemented the caramel tones instead of the other way round.


I scaled the recipe down to a quarter and baked it in a 3-cup bundt pan but I shall post the original quantity. Accordingly, I quartered the frosting quantity and I mixed it up by hand. I realized that using a whisk is a more efficient way of getting rid of those icing sugar lumps but whisking to incorporate the ingredients actually introduces more air which results in a loose soupy frosting. There's no harm done, but you just have to refrigerate it for a bit to get the consistency right. I had to rush to take some pictures before the sky darkened so I had no choice but to slather some overly soft frosting over. That's why it looks more like a glaze than a frosting, running down the sides and all. Not to mention the hole in the middle!

P.S. After frosting the cake, sprinkle some sea salt over it. The sweet-salty contrast is fabulous- I command highly highly recommend that you try it!


Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake
adapted from Baked Explorations
makes 1 10-inch cake

Instead of coconut milk for the burnt sugar liquid, I used evaporated milk because that's all I had. I also omitted the lemon juice because I didn't see the need for it. Also, I reduced the sugar by a 1/2 cup because I felt that the caramel would have already given the cake extra sweetness. In fact, you can reduce the sugar even further.

For the burnt sugar liquid:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
about 3/4 cup coconut milk (I used evaporated milk)
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I omitted)

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar. Use a wooden spoon to stir continuously to ensure even melting. When the sugar turns a dark caramel color, remove the pan from the heat and slowly stream in the cream while continuing to stir. Return the pan to medium heat and stir completely combined. Cook for about 2 minutes longer to ensure that there is no hardened bits of caramel. Transfer the burnt caramel mixture to at least a 2-cup heatproof measuring cup and add enough coconut milk to make 1 1/4 cups. Add the lemon juice. Whisk to combine, divide the mixture in half and set both portions aside.

For the cake:
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
2 cups sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups)
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp burnt sugar liquid (above)

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a 10-inch bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the burnt sugar liquid. The batter will be quite thick. Scrape down the sides and beat again for 10 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding.

For the coffee caramel frosting:

The original recipe was a caramel rum frosting but I very much prefer a coffee and caramel pairing. If you would like to stick to the original, use 2 tbsp rum in place of the coffee extract. If you don't have coffee extract, combine 1 tsp of boiling water and equal proportions of instant espresso powder. Allow the mixture to cool before using.

1 stick butter
1 tsp coffee extract
2 1/3 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp burnt sugar liquid (above)

Pulse the butter, coffee extract, icing sugar and burnt sugar liquid until the frosting is shiny and smooth.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the no-bake peanut butter cookie.


Sometimes I just want to potter about the kitchen and do something with my hands that doesn't require too much effort. (Strangely enough, cooking never comes to mind.) The urge struck again last weekend, and I turned to this recipe which does not require the blast of oven heat.

While I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate (and who doesn't really), the uncooked oats had an odd taste that I didn't quite take to very well. It tasted stale and woody, and made me feel rather much like a rabbit at first. I don't have anything against oats, and there was a time I practically lived on cereal bars, but I feel that if they were pre-toasted, the cookies would taste much better.


The No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie
makes 36
adapted from Baked Explorations

I replaced the regular sugar originally called for in the recipe with brown sugar, and reduced the total amount by a half cup. The addition of salt is of my own doing and you can always leave it out if you rather not add it. Also, the espresso beans are a bomb with this cookie! As mentioned above, I feel that toasting the oats before adding them to the mixture would lessen the their staleness and heighten the cookies' taste.

1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, diced
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky, but not natural
3 cups rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

36 chocolate-coated espresso beans

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder and butter until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil for a full 90 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter, vanilla extract, salt and oats. Stir until the mixture is combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism or alternatively, a tablespoon to drop the mounds of chocolate-peanut-butter-goop onto the baking sheet, leaving some room around them as they spread. Press a chocolate-coated espresso bean into the centre of each mound. Let the cookies cool, then refrigerate them for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. They can be eaten directly from the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

golden almond and pear cake.


Skimming through the pages of The Cake Bible, you will notice that there's no lack of wonderful butter cake recipes. Delicious no less, due to the reverse creaming method that yields a cake with a crumb that dissolves on your tongue with a slight nudge.


Not too long ago, I made a pound cake recipe from the very same book. In eggshells too, for Easter! The texture was so fine and the cake tender. There's a variation of it which uses less butter and icing sugar to create a denser texture, and there's no doubt that I will try it in the near future.


But I digress. I was betting that the book's golden almond cake recipe would be even more sublime as part of the flour is replaced with a gluten-free component, resulting in an even more melt-in-your-mouth crumb while being perfumed by the nutty aroma of almond. And if you're an ardent fan of sour cream cakes, well then, rejoice! The sour cream in this cake makes it moist and tender, and should be added to your to-bake list. If you're like me, it would have stretched way into the hundreds by now.


Before baking, I decided to artistically arrange slices of poached pear in a concentric circle on top of the batter but as you can see, they sank to the bottom. Oh well. If you're planning to add pears too, which I think is a brilliant combination with almond, you might as well lay them down at the bottom of the pan before pouring the batter over.

The Cake Bible suggests that this cake is best eaten when warm, minutes out of the oven. I second that notion.


No doubt, this recipe is not your most almond-iest cake- there are other recipes which utilize almond paste, and at a higher proportion to flour, to give a cake that screams almond through and through. This cake is a little more subtle with the almond, using a modest percentage of ground almonds and a bit of almond extract.

You may be a little turned off at this point. Almond extract? How artificial. Indeed, when used excessively, the intense flavour is hard to scrub off your tastebuds, rendering the recipe an unappetizing flop. But that is not the case here. The amount of extract used is just nice such that the cake is imbued with the flavour of almond but not overly so. There is no cause for disgust, really.

All in all, another winner from The Cake Bible!


Golden Almond and Pear Cake
adapted from The Cake Bible
makes a 7-inch cake

I halved the original recipe and metric measurements would have as such become a bit of a pain. I suggest you get out those weighing scales to ease your headache.

1 large egg
1/3 cup sour cream, divided
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp vanilla
5/6 cups sifted cake flour
1/6 cup ground, unblanched sliced almonds, toasted and finely ground
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp softened butter

2 poached pears, each sliced into eighths

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan. Arrange the pear slices on the bottom of the pan.

Lightly combine the eggs, 1/4 of the sour cream and extracts.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure.

Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides and pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Now's the best time to tuck into the cake or you could wait for it to cool down completely before storing airtight.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

condensed milk cookies.


Umm... how do I put this. It was a great idea but not-so-great recipe. There was too much baking powder and that led to pockets of sharp sourness. Other than that really unfortunate glitch, the cookies had a beautifully crunchy shell but were not crunchy all the way through. The condensed milk worked its magic here, the cookies giving of a wonderful milky aroma. The condensed milk and vanilla somehow elevated the buttery-ness of the cookies. In short, these were milky, buttery and crunchy. What more could you ask for?


Condensed Milk Cookies
adapted from here
makes 54

I have reduced the baking powder by a 1/2 tsp (it was originally 2 tsp) so that the cookies would not taste sour due to an excess of baking powder.

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 can condensed milk
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the condensed milk and vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Roll the dough into rough 1 inch balls and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until the cookies start to brown.

Monday, May 14, 2012

aunt sassy cupcakes.


Aunt Sassy cupcakes were originally supposed to be one loud and proud Aunt Sassy cake, which is basically a pistachio cake with vanilla honey buttercream. I thought it would be a nice to take a breather from the chocolate and vanilla cakes I've been making. So.


Overall, I thought that the cupcakes were okay- not extraordinary, not a turn-off, but just okay. Perhaps it was because my expectations of a pistachio-flavoured cake were different. I was ping-pong-ing back and forth on whether I liked this cake or not.


Certain parts of the cupcake, the outer parts, were a tad drier and hence had a very crumbly texture. Coupled with the fact that the batter contained part ground pistachios, there was some seriously messy eating going on and the pistachio flavour didn't transmit very well.


However, delving into the center of the cupcake, it was significantly moister and not only was it less likely to crumble, the pistachio flavour came through more strongly too. This was when I started to appreciate the cupcake a little more.


The buttercream was a little problematic. The honey in there caused it to curdle and I had to whisk quite madly to get it to emulsify back together. I didn't occur to me that this would happen- I thought all the curdling business were meant to be left to that somewhat finicky swiss meringue buttercream! But I guess with the acidic nature of honey and the fact that this is a milk-based buttercream, the curdling of the buttercream is to be expected of.

These cupcakes are a welcome change from my recent spate of chocolate and vanilla posts, but these are not a must-bake.


Aunt Sassy Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Baked Explorations via here
makes 24

I toasted the pistachios and added a dash of almond extract. I also cut down on the sugar slightly.

1 cup shelled pistachios
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325F. Line two 12-hole muffin tins with paper liners.

Using a food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are coarsely chopped. Remove about 2 tbsp worth of the pistachios to a large bowl and process the rest until they are very fine. Add the finely ground pistachios to the roughly chopped pistachios.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pistachios together.

Cream the butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the whole egg and mix until blended.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and ice water alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter amongst the muffin liners and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool before frosting.

Vanilla Honey Buttercream

My buttercream curdled due to the honey as it is acidic. If that happens to you too, don't panic! Just keep beating it until it becomes smooth again. Just like swiss meringue buttercream.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used low fat)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but cool, diced
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp honey

In a saucepan, whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking regularly, until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened, about 12 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and beat on high speed until cool, about 10 minutes. (Just to be safe, I made the milk mixture the night before and refrigerated it.)

Turn the mixer down to low and add the butter bit by bit. When all the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the honey and vanilla and beat to incorporate.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

sugared parmesan shortbread cookies.


Cheese makes a guest appearance again, this time, in cookies!

This nearly became one of the rare sugar-less posts on this blog but I decided to roll the log of dough in coarse sugar because I wanted to create a sweet-salty contrast just like I did for my cheddar cheese loaf. (Which, by the way, have you tried yet? Because it's a crime if you don't. Just saying.)


I think I should have included some bacon like the original recipe, to make the cookies more savory. But without it, they're not too bad either. I like the extra crunch provided by the sugar.

I, not being a cheese fanatic, wouldn't go wild over these but they're an option to keep in mind if you like cheese and are looking for something not quite the norm to bake.


Sugared Parmesan Shortbread Cookies
adapted from Crumbly Cookie
makes 18

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed (I used low-fat milk)

egg, beaten
coarse sugar, for rolling in and sprinkling on

Pulse the flour, salt, cheese and butter in a food processor until you have a sandy mixture. Add the cream or half-and-half a little at a time until the mixture holds together but is not sticky.

Shape the dough into a log and freeze for at least 3 hours. To get a perfect cylinder, I used the cardboard roll the kitchen paper towels come with to contain the dough.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Apply the egg on the length of the log and roll the dough in coarse sugar. Slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick slices and arrange the cookies 1/2 inch apart on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle more sugar on the tops of the cookies. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

cheddar cheese loaf.


If you're a fan of sweet-salty contrasts in desserts, then you may just like this cake. It is just your regular, a little sweet pound cake flecked with shreds of cheddar, but I doubt that you would think of it as just a cake.

Eaten warm out of the oven, you have the luxury of digging your fork into the crunchy top crust, also courtesy of browned crispy cheddar cheese, and molten pockets of the aforementioned cheese tunneling throughout the cake. Should you have to control yourself for a few hours before tucking in, the cheese would not be as molten but no matter, it will still be as delicious.


My only critique of the original recipe is that it incorporated too little cheddar, and the cake may come of as a little too sweet overall. From here, you have two options: First to add another fistful of cheese or secondly, to reduce the sugar. Or a third option- to do both but I wouldn't recommend slashing the sugar by too much because you may dim the contrast between sweet and salty.


Cheddar Cheese Loaf
adapted from here
makes a 9 x 5 inch loaf

250g butter
230g sugar (I would use 180g next time)
4 eggs
100ml milk
280g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
80g shredded cheddar cheese (I would throw in another 40g)

extra shredded cheddar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Mix the flour and baking powder together.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one by one, until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the cheddar cheese.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with additional shredded cheddar. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

flourless peanut butter cookies.


I felt like baking something that wasn't cake so I decided on cookies since I've not made any in a while.

These peanut butter cookies are flourless and butter-less but are by no means inferior to the standard pants-busting renditions. These are no health food, but at least I know I'm consuming good fat! Uh-huh. The other upside to this recipe is that it's super easy to throw together. You just need a few minutes, really.

These peanut butter bombs are the bomb because they are my kind of cookie- crunchy and crispy through and through. And they are not shy in the peanut butter department. I never thought that they would flatten out so much so be sure to space them amply apart.


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from various sources
makes 20

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

raw brown sugar and coarse salt for sprinkling

Beat the peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, baking soda and salt and mix until incorporated.

Divide dough into 20 portions, and roll and flatten each individual one. At this point, you may choose to administer some fork artwork. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and salt. You can bake these immediately or refrigerate them first.

Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

chocolate cake with instant fudge frosting.


I made this chocolate cake recipe before in my chocolate cherry cupcakes. I remembered that it tasted so darn good that I wanted to eat a huge slab of it. So this time, I baked it into one layer and smothered it with a healthy dose of instant fudge frosting, just to make sure that this was really the ultimate chocolate cake. Well, it is, at least for now.


I underbaked it on purpose, maybe a tad much on hindsight, and the texture of the cake was chewy, fudgy and dense. It's not brownie-like, not even cakey-brownie-like. It's a whole different texture. You have to try it for yourself to know. I don't regret cutting back a few minutes on the baking time one bit, but if you prefer a lighter crumb but with enough chocolaty oomph, try this one by Ina Garten.


No cake is complete without frosting, and I needed a new reliable chocolate one ever since I outgrown the mild cocoa frosting I used to love. I turned to this instant chocolate frosting recipe which uses unsweetened chocolate in hopes that the bitterness would provide the intense chocolaty-ness I was looking for.


I thought it was just okay. It's definitely more chocolaty than the cocoa frosting recipe but it's still not as intense as I would like. It was also a little grainy from the icing sugar, which is a problem I've always had with all previous batches of chocolate frostings. Perhaps more time in the mixer would solve that problem? More milk? (Although I fear that extra liquid would result in a watery frosting.)

If you have a chocolate frosting recipe that is bittersweet and intense, I would love to check it out so please leave a link!


Chocolate Cake
follow the recipe here

For a 6 inch 1 layer cake, use 1.5 times the quantity in the link or visit the source (Smitten Kitchen) and divide it by 4 for easier calculation.

Instant Fudge Frosting
makes 5 cups
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
4 1/2 cups icing sugar (no need to sift)
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp half-and-half or whole milk (I used low-fat)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate, then process until the frosting is smooth.

I used just one cup to top the 6 inch cake. It is enough to cover the top generously.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

gateau saint honore.


It's my take on a saint honore gateau with inspiration from Pierre Herme Pastries. His recreated this classic into individual pastries filled with passionfruit cream and topped with a green tea cream with fried chestnuts and passionfruit compote scattered in and around. I replaced the two creams with vanilla and mango versions and the fried chestnuts and passionfruit compote with candied ginger cubes and adzuki beans. Overall, I enjoyed the flavour combination but I wished I could do something about the cumbersome choux and puff pastry base.


Even though I changed some of the ingredients, I followed the book's instructions. You can't tell from the picture but each pastry is 4 1/2 inches in diameter. It's an unrealistic size for any one person, unless you're really hungry. Plus, instructions for filling the pastry were extremely unclear. If you have the book, read through it and you would know what I mean. The quantities for both creams were also insufficient. I didn't manage to pipe a nice spiral of cream to top the pastries. Geez, they look like something out of horror movie. I think the reason why I'm most upset is because of their appearance. I almost always eat with my eyes first.

And I totally burnt the caramel. Sigh.