This recipe is not one that you can just make at any time and anywhere. It’s a special recipe featuring Norway’s golden berry. A berry that grows in the mountains and gets the nickname fjellets gull (mountain’s gold) because of its color and the fact that finding them is like discovering hidden treasure. The season is short and those who manage to get a hold of them will usually freeze them and save them for a celebration or a holiday such as Christmas. These berries, known as multebær or cloudberries, are, in short, one of a kind.
With this in mind, it is possible to substitute the berries with another berry of your choice, however, the flavor will not be the same at all. I do hope this recipe will evoke a sense of curiosity and a desire to one day try these berries if you have not been able to do so. They grow in North America and Scandinavia around early August. They have a unique and very aromatic taste; a combination of sweetness and acidity.
Cloudberries are used in Norwegian desserts such as multekrem and in cakes and jams. I recently used some to make my Savory Berry Tartlets with honey and goat cheese. With the holidays just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make something a bit different with these unique berries. Something which retains it’s distinct flavor and plays on the notion of sweet and salty. Thus, the cloudberry caramel came into being.
These caramels are spectacular and very special. As cloudberries are quite difficult to get a hold of, feel free to experiment with other berries in the meantime. When cloudberry season does comes around again and you find yourself in Norway or North America, be sure to collect a few and try this recipe!
Multekarameller (Cloudberry Caramels with Sea Salt)
(Makes enough caramels to fill an 8x8in/20x20cm pan)
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 4 Tb butter
- 1 1/4 (250g) cup sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) golden syrup/corn syrup
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (125ml) cloudberry puree (from about 300g/10 oz cloudberries)
- Course sea salt
In a saucepan, bring the cloudberries to a low simmer to soften them and release their juices. Pour into a sieve over a bowl and press the berries through to extract as much of the juice as possible. Discard the seeds. You should end up with about 1/2 cup/125ml of puree.
Take an 20×20 cm/8×8 inch pan and line it with parchment paper. Butter or spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray to avoid the caramels from sticking.
In a saucepan, combine the cream, and butter and warm over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove it from the heat and stir in the cloudberry puree.
In a large pot (the volume of the mixture will increase, so ensure you do not use a small pot), combine the sugar, syrup and water to form a grainy paste, wiping down the sides to prevent any sugar crystals from being above the sugar mixture. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat without stirring. Once the mixture reaches 250°F/121°C, take it off the heat. Slowly pour the cloudberry mixture into the sugar mixture and gently combine. The mixture will bubble up so take caution. Once everything is combined, stop whisking and return the pot to medium-high heat. As soon as the mixture reaches 245-250°F/118-121°C, remove it from the heat and quickly whisk in the vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and allow it to set at room temperature for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
When the caramels have set, lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper. Place them on a cutting board and cut them into rectangles with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the caramels with the sea salt.
To keep the caramels, wrap them individually in wax paper. Perfect for gifts and little treats!
Process adapted from thekitchn