Monday, December 07, 2009
Holiday Recipes: Sucre à la crème
I have been meaning to post Holiday recipes for the last two weeks but we are so busy it has been hard to find the time. Finally, I'm here today with an old Quebec favorite, Sucre à la crème.
It's a brown sugar fudge that is famous for being one hard recipe to succeed at making and the proof is that I have never, ever, ever, ever, succeeded in making it before. It took me trying to veganize it for it to finally work for me. It might be a good thing, it might be a bad thing... because although a lot of Québécois eat Sucre à la crème all year long (it's now widely available in most grocery stores), I have to think of it as a Holiday treat. That way, I put it in the Once-A-Year category and it's better for my curvy figure.
Some people like their Sucre à la crème on the hard side, some prefer it creamy. Some prefer it with nuts, some would never add nuts. You can customize it the way you like and yes, that means that you will have to play around with the recipe which is the perfect excuse if you want to practice making it now, or after the holiday season.
By the way, I would like to thank Jojo for her help testing this recipe and for her variation suggestion.
Brigit's Vegan Sucre à la crème
· 750ml (3 cups) organic brown sugar, packed
· 225g Earth Balance buttery spread (preferably not the Mediterranean one)
· 160ml Belsoy Creamy Preparation (Jojo liked using Coconut Milk instead - I find it gives a bit of a bitter flavour but it is still good)
· 500ml (2 cups) organic Vegan Icing Sugar
· 1 Tbsp good quality pure vanilla extract or if you prefer, maple extract (or a mix of the two)
· a Candy Thermometer
In a medium size heavy cooking pot, melt Earth Balance Spread with the brown sugar, stirring constantly. This is important because the sugar must not burn - it would affect the flavour.
Continue stirring until boiling stage is just reached and then add the Belsoy Creamy Preparation or coconut milk, then let it reach the boiling point again.
Lower heat and let simmer to 240F on your candy thermometer (this can take from 3 to 5 minutes - using the thermometer is more precise and it is highly recommended). The more you cook the mixture, the drier(harder)the end result will be. This is where you can tweak to your liking. If you prefer your Sucre à la crème creamy, cook it slightly less.
When 240F is reached, immediately transfer the mixture to clean medium bowl and with the help of a hand held electric mixer, add the good quality vanilla and gradually add the icing sugar. If you find your mixture too dry, you can add a bit more Belsoy cream, one teaspoon at a time. Be aware that adding too much will change the end result, maybe making it too creamy for your liking.
*If you would like to add walnuts, this is where you would do it, with the help of a wooden spoon, just before pouring the delicious mixture in a mold to let it set.
Pour in a square mold and let cool completely in the fridge. When set, cut into squares and share with all the people who have been nice to you during the year.
OR you can freeze the squares you want to eat later :)