Recently, I was desperately looking for a Bulgarian supplier of salty caramel sirup. In vain, as it ultimately turned out. Instead I flew it in from Germany for tons of money and was even disappointed: To my taste, the original sirup by Monin is to thin, the caramel is not browned long enough and it lacks a pinch of salt. I started experimenting, and as it turned out, making the sirup at home is ridiculously simple at 10 percent of the costs and the result is in my humble opinion not at all second to the convenience product.
As luck would have it, a bundle of fresh, red hot chilies was sitting on the countertop, when I prepared the first bottle of sirup. I could not help preparing a second portion, this time with chilies roasted in the caramel, and another two as a surplus in the bottle, for both optics and taste.
The subtle hotness of the chili variant goes just as well with fruity cakes or desserts as with latte macchiato or capuccino. For ice cream or other milk or cream based desserts I usually prefer the variant without chili.
For about 400 ml of sirup.
- 350 g sugar
- 350 ml water
- 1 heaping tsp fleur de sel (ca. 5 g)
- 4 very hot, little red chilies
Prepares in 15 minutes.
- Cut two chilies in halves.
- Bring 350 ml water to boil. Using hot water reduces the splattering, when given to the melted caramel.
Put sugar and fleur de sel into a pot and caramelize. When the sugar starts melting, add the chili halves and roast them in the caramel. Stir constantly.
- When the sugar has become golden brown, remove the pot from the fire and add the water very cautiously. Wear something with long sleeves and maybe gloves. The splattering sugar is very, very nasty and may burn you quite seriously.
- Cook the sirup for an additional 10 minutes or so to the desired thickness. Add the other chilis a few minutes before the end of the cooking time but do not cut them. We want them as decoration in the bottle.
Filter the sirup through a sieve into a clean bottle. Remove the roasted chili halves (do not throw them away but rather add them as a garnish to crispy veggie potato cakes or beef with gravy). Put the other chilies, the ones that you did not cut, into the bottle with the sirup.The original by Monin watches the bottling full of envy.
Simply omit the chilies for the classical variant. Everything else remains the same. You can safely add salt later if you prefer to have it saltier, and you can replace the fleur de sel with regular salt. But keep in mind that a heaping teaspoon of fleur de sel is less than a heaping teaspoon of regular salt.
I do not recommend preparing larger quantities than the above at once. Not only the splattering will become really annoying at one point, but you will also find out that one part of the caramel will already start burning while another part has not even begun to melt.
I keep the sirup with the chilies in the fridge, just in case. Without chili cooling is not necessary, and the sirup is good for months, provided that the bottle is clean.
Looking for an idea for a dessert with caramel sirup? What about nice and easy? Put a teaspoon of the cold sirup - I recommend the one without chili - into a cup of ice-cold milk. Delicious! And you will notice immediately whether you should add a little more salt.
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