Susan S. Yeske: Recipe of the week
Try a perennial fall favorite - caramel apples
Pastry chef Daniel Held bakes cookies and cakes but his first love is chocolate. Chocolate bonbons, chocolate bark, chocolate fudge, chocolate pastries.
A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, he readily admits that he became a chef because of his sweet tooth. While he eats plenty of his own creations, he keeps his figure trim as a marathon runner and tri-athlete.
A year ago he and his brother Joe opened Moussey Mousse Chocolates on West Broad Street in Quakertown. At first, local residents were disappointed that he didn’t continue making the butter cakes crafted by the previous tenant, a German bakery, but they weren’t part of his chocolate-based repertoire.
“We would rather do fewer things and do them exceptionally well,” Joe Held explained.
Daniel Held makes everything from scratch and by hand, and over time has found plenty of fans who stop in the shop for cupcakes, coffee, cookies, chocolates, and cups of rich, creamy mousse. The shop is popular for wedding cakes, and for the upcoming holidays he will be baking cheesecakes and pumpkin rolls and putting together gift boxes of chocolates (he doesn’t bake pies). He also makes a gluten-free cookie that is popular.
Occasionally Daniel can be found making specialty chocolates for special customers, and he will participate in Nouveau Weekend Nov. 16 and 17 at Clover Hill Winery in Breinigsville, where he will hand-fill chocolates with the vineyard’s wines. Also keeping him busy will be an online store that will debut in a few days.
With apples at their best this time of year, he also is making a lot of candy-covered apples, dipping them in different chocolates as well as nuts, caramel and sprinkles. The popular fall favorite practically runs out of the store, the brothers said.
For those who want to make their own caramel-covered apples, here is Martha Stewart’s recipe from the Martha Stewart web site. If you don’t want to make your caramel from scratch like chef Held, buy a bag of wrapped caramels at the supermarket, unwrap and combine them with 2 tablespoons milk in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for two minutes, stirring once, then allow to cool briefly to create an easy coating for your apples.
Classic Caramel Apples
6 wooden craft sticks
6 small apples, any variety, stems removed
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Step 1. Insert sticks into tops of apples. Prepare an ice-water bath.
Step 2. Bring cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, and continue to cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.
Step 3. Place pan in ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Dip bottom of each apple in caramel. Using a spoon, coat apple halfway to three-quarters of the way up sides. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes (or overnight).
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