Fellow Candy Hearts and Wild Romance Press author Peggy Jaeger is here today with a sweet recipe for Valentine's Day. I'll let her heroine Chloe from 3 WISHES tell us all about it!
Chloe San Valentino here! Hi everyone. As a Chocolatier, I love Valentine’s Day more than any other holiday. Of course, it also has a special place in my heart because it’s my birthday! Today, I’m sharing with Jana (and you all) one of my favorite candy recipes to make for the shop on Valentine’s Day. If you’re a sweet and salty kind of treat eater, you’ll love these Caramelle Sale Marino, Sea Salt Caramels. They are made with love in my shop kitchen, and now hopefully in yours. The best part of being a chocolatier: I get to sample everything I make. Over and over again!
· 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
· 2 cups sugar
· 1/2 cup corn syrup –light is better to use
· 1/3 cup fresh honey
· 6 tbsp real unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 3 tsp Sea Salt
· 1 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped
· 1 baking sheet
· 1medium sauce pan
Prepare an 8-inch baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with PAM
Place the cream in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring it to a slow boil, not rapid and bubbling. Stir in the sugar slowly, the corn syrup and honey next and stir until it begins to boil. Periodically wipe down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in warm water to prevent crystals from forming.
Cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 257 degrees on a candy thermometer. Make sure it is at least this hot but not scalding.
Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the butter, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
Pour into prepared pan and let set at room temperature until firm enough to cut, about 3-5 hours.
Cut the caramel into small squares with a sharp, thin blade.
To make the squares:
Temper the chocolate and dip the caramels in the chocolate one at a time. Place them on a wax or parchment covered baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle on the remaining salt and allow to set completely. It is best to add the sea salt when the caramel square is still “wet” or newly glazed.
Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.
Excerpt from 3 WISHES:
At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.
If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.
About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.
“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”
It was at that moment he looked over at me.
His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.
“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”
So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them.
Her current titles, available now, include SKATER'S WALTZ and THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1 through 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.
Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
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