You may or may not remember, but last month I compiled a list of resolutions. Up until yesterday, however, the only one I’d achieved was making a white chocolate blondie (and very exciting it was too). Underachiever that I am, I have yet to create my own veggie marshmallows (I’m still sadly lacking in sugar thermometers). BUT, I have now brought out the Salt Caramel sauces.
Last night, you see, my friend Mimi came round, so we held our own caramel tasting test. There were three different kinds from three different shops, all of which are generally known for good hogging (and all of which just happened to be in my cupboard). Things started professionally, with gulps of water to cleanse the palate, dabs of caramel tested with knives and fingertips, and a formal(ish) discussion of value, bouquet and texture.
Then out came the ice cream and home-made biscuits and the whole thing turned into a mass of indiscriminate gorging.
It was wonderful.
Anyway, I’ll talk about the biscuits another time (perhaps even transcribe some kind of recipe). But for now, I refuse to let our brief show of expertise go to waste. And so my Ogglers, on to the review…
- Marks and Spencer, ‘Salted Caramel Sauce’, £2.99 for 260g: Excellent value (the cheapest of the three, if I’m not mistaken), this sauce is really fudgey/butterscotchy in taste and texture. Extremely rich and moreish, like a Cadbury’s Caramel without the chocolate coating. Rating: 4.5 out of 5
- Artisan du Chocolat, ‘Liquid Salted Caramel Sauce’, £7.99 for 325g: The saltiest of the bunch, this almost verges on savoury. Treacly in taste, slightly oily in texture, it looks right but tastes overpowering. Best in very small doses. Rating: 2 out of 5
- Paul A. Young, £7.50, weight forgotten (pardon my negligence – I will update this anon): This sauce comes with the surprise addition of 40% milk chocolate (oh, Mr Young. You just can’t help yourself, can you? Tee hee). Unsurprisingly, the extra ingredient makes it very milky and mild, slightly detracting from the potency of the salt. Texture-wise, it’s more like a spread than a sauce (albeit a highly delicious and luxurious one). Very soft but not as much like traditional sticky caramel as the M&S version. Rating: 4 out of 5
The winner then? Marks and Spencer, but only just. In terms of deliciousness, Paul A. Young would have tied with it easily. But in terms of being a perfect example of what salt caramel sauce should be, M&S does a fine, upstanding job. And only £2.99!
Still, there’s really no need to split hairs on this one. As I found in a heady, sauce-fuelled moment last night, mix the top two together, and you’ve got yourself a match made in heaven.
Now all I need are some more to taste and test. Salt Caramel Makers: consider this your formal invitation.