Nut and Caramel

What a mouthful. What does it mean? The word is defined as the act of placing two very different things together to compare or contrast their effect. The coming together of nuts and caramel is just that: a delightful juxtaposition of elements in your mouth! Smooth, gooey caramel oozes and overflows out of rich chocolate, mixed with the satisfying crunch of nuts.

I think love is caramel. Sweet and fragrant; always welcomeJenny Colgan, Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams

How do you describe caramel?

Caramel is sweet and oh so smooth. When you take a bite out of a piece of chocolate and watch the rich caramel oozing out slowly, it’s like watching lava overflowing out of a rich chocolaty-volcano. It’s mesmerizing!

Caramel is one of the most versatile confectionery products. It is made by slowly melting sugar, butter, and milk or cream until the desired consistency is achieved. The ratios of each component determine the end product of caramel – whether it’ll be soft, runny, sticky, or smooth.

The flavors of this delicious treat also vary greatly and this adds to its versatility. By an artful play of chemistry and creativity, caramel can take on a range of flavors. These are often described as:

  • Buttery
  • Rummy
  • Salty
  • Burnt
  • Vanilla
  • Maple, etc

Caramel means different things to different people. However, in a survey carried out what people preferred when it came to the taste of caramel, most voted for a smooth consistency with a buttery, rummy, and burnt flavor.

What a Nut Job

Who’s that nut?

Nuts come in all shapes and sizes – from tiny almonds, to large macadamia nuts. And sometimes in human form – usually on your spouse’s side of the family. Each nut has its own unique flavor. This results in a multitude of flavor options when it comes to merging nuts with other foods such as caramel or chocolate.

If we try and forget for a second how good they taste, we can talk about the many health benefits nuts boast. Some of the most commonly used nuts in chocolate have incredible health benefits.

Did you know?

Pecans are rich in antioxidants, packed with plant sterols that lower cholesterol levels, and are a good source of vitamin B3, which helps fight fatigue.

Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants and may help fight against cancer and diabetes. They are also good for lowering stress levels. Plus they come loaded with vitamins.

Almonds are loaded with vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and proteins. They reduce the risk of heart attack and cancer and are scientifically proven to improve memory.

Hazelnuts are rich in unsaturated fats which are good for your heart. They are also high in vitamin B which is good for your nervous system, your skin, and your muscles. They have been known to reduce stress and depression levels and can cut the risk of bladder cancer as they are loaded with vitamin E.

Whoever came up with the popular saying ‘if it tastes bad, it must be good for you’ clearly hadn’t eaten any nuts!

Like Two Peas in a Pod

Whoever thought of bringing these two ingredients together within chocolate must’ve been a genius. This is without a doubt an explosive union of incredible and distinct flavors!

All good chefs know that aside from flavor, texture in food is incredibly important. It’s what makes food so satisfying ‘Contrasting textures marry for an exciting sensation’ says Katherine Martinelli, in her article about the importance of texture in food. Texture makes food stand out; it makes food memorable. When caramel and nuts come together in chocolate, the end result is a sensational blend of flavors and textures.

The individual and unique taste and texture will depend upon the type of nut used, the flavor of the caramel, and the type of chocolate. There are a number of delicious and exciting possibilities when it comes to this trusty trio!

Think of them as the Three Musketeers in the world of confectionery:

All for one and one for all’