HONEY, ALMOND AND SAFFRON CARAMELS (SOHAN ASALI)
A popular feature on many Persian New Year tables, these honey, almond and saffron caramels are a speciality from Iran’s Isfahan region, known for its honey production.
Often used to add an aromatic sweetness to Persian confectionery, there are many local honey varieties, including orange blossom, thyme and clover, some of which is still collected using traditional beekeeping methods.
Note - rosewater is available from Middle Eastern food shops and selected supermarkets.
- 220g of caster sugar
- 60g of unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- 90g of Haughton Honey
- 140g of slivered almonds
- Half a teaspoon of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon of boiling water
- 2 teaspoons of rosewater
- 70g of shelled pistachios, finely chopped
If you have a fan-assisted oven then reduce the specified temperature in the recipe by about 15%.
1 teaspoon = 5ml
1 tablespoon = 15ml.
Some ingredients are measured in cups and some equivalents are;
150g, 6oz (1/2 cup) = 120ml, 4fl oz.
- Line 2 trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Place the sugar, butter and honey in a deep saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the almonds and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, for 6 minutes or until golden and the temperature reaches 140°C on a sugar thermometer (the ‘soft crack’ stage). Remove from then heat.
- Immediately add the dissolved saffron and water; be careful as the hot caramel will spit. Swirl to combine and then stir in the rosewater.
- Working quickly and carefully using two oiled spoons, spoon the mixture onto the lined trays to form 6cm discs. Scatter with the pistachios and set aside for 1 hour which will allow the carmels to set. The caramels will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.