A subtle, caramel-like taste characterizes Appenzeller Caramels. The firm consistency occurs when the sugar and cream cook on an open fire for over an hour. These caramels received a special award when this down-to-earth product became a part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.
The starting product for the Appenzeller Caramels is a mixture of condensed milk, sugar, and cream (nidel). It’s initially wholly white and they cook it with constant stirring until it turns a nice, brown color. The mass stands over the fire for more than an hour until it achieves the desired consistency. Finally, the agitator knocks some air bubbles out of the mass. Then everything has to happen very quickly.
Afterward, employees take the copper kettle out of the stirrer and bring it to a long marble table on which they empty the mass. With a spatula and a kind of rolling wood made of aluminum, she spreads the mass down to a thickness of six to seven millimeters. The air that is undesirable here escapes again. Now a large cookie cutter is pressed onto the mass. Then, they cut the formed mass into pieces so large in order to place it on a baking sheet greased with beeswax.
The full belch gets to a second table. They quickly turn the top on the sheet and then wipe both sides with a cloth. So, part of the wax gets removed again. Finally, they reduce the caramels more and more by hand until that individual caramel is on the table. If you work too slowly, the mass freezes. Breaking the rock-hard material into individual pieces would be impossible. The ideal workspace has a low humidity level. If the humidity is too high, the fresh tents stick together. It is essential to make the tents in the morning to avoid too much heat or high humidity. An essential tool, the marble table, must not absorb too much heat either. If it gets too warm, the sugar mass sticks to the table.