Some people are simply naturally gifted at the science-meets-art of baking. Others toil through pastry school. Whichever category you fall into, your latest book of advanced projects is The Artful Baker, by Istanbul-based recipe developer and blogger Cenk Sönmezsoy. These infused passion fruit caramels make a beautiful DIY gift you may not want to give away after all!

If I were a passion fruit, I’d aspire to grow up to be a passion fruit caramel. It is the best thing a passion fruit can be — smooth, rich, sweet and tangy. Plus, you get to marry butter, sugar and cream, all at the same time!

These caramels are inspired by the Jacques Genin mango and passion fruit caramels I discovered at A l’Etoile d’Or, but they are different from his in both taste and texture. I prefer my caramels on the chewier side, so that they melt slowly in my mouth and prolong their glorious finish. Even though passion fruit and mango are a perfect couple, I prefer to put the passion fruit in the spotlight, so mango came out of the mix. In my research, I noticed that most caramel recipes used corn syrup to prevent crystallization; I prefer mild honey, which contributes to the flavor without dominating the passion fruit.

When I gifted my two friends, just back from vacationing in Provence, with a small box of these caramels, they looked at each other and, eyes wide, simultaneously blurted out, “These are better!” When I asked, “Better than what, exactly?” they replied, “The ones we ate two nights ago at l’Oustau.” L’Oustau de Baumanière has two Michelin stars. Just sayin’.

Storage: The wrapped caramels will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Reprinted with permission from The Artful Baker