Sunday, December 11, 2011

Salted Caramels

One of the best candies of all-time (in my opinion) can be homemade with this recipe. Be sure to read it through before you dive in as there are a lot of steps that have to happen at the correct time. Enjoy!

Vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 c. heavy cream
5 T. unsalted butter
1 t. fine fleur de sel (I used kosher salt instead), plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract


1. Prep the pan. Line an 8 in. square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.

2. Boil the sugar. In a deep saucepan, combine 1/4 c. water, sugar, and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over med-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don't stir-- just swirl the pan.

3. Heat the cream. In the meantime, in a small pot, bring the cream, butter, and 1 t. of the salt to a simmer over med. high heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.

4. Finish the caramel. When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. BE CAREFUL-- it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 min., until the mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Note: I HIGHLY recommend the candy thermometer. I tried to do it with a candle thermometer and ended up with caramels that were too soft.

5. Fill the pan. Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

6. Cut the caramel. When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half.

7. Roll it up. Starting with a long side, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8 in. log.

8. Cut into pieces. Sprinkle the log with salt, trim the ends and cut into 8 pieces. It's easier to cut the caramels if you brush the knife with flavorless oil.

9. Wrap the candies. Cut glassine or parchment paper into 4"x5" pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.

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