I love salted caramels. Like LOVE. Like Super Duper LOVE them. The salty sweet combination is not only melt in your mouth delicious, but also addictive. Thankfully, this recipe makes more than I can possibly eat. I think.
I have never made salted caramels, and frankly did not want to even try to make them for fear of overeating them. This all changed when I received my swag bag at the Boston Brunchers Birthday Bash. The lovely little swag bag contained two different, beautiful cookbooks. One of them, the new Cook's Illustrated book, which hasn't even been opened yet,and the other, Salty Sweets, just begged me to open it. I have since made two recipes from this book, and both are extraordinary.
As soon as I turned to the Salted Caramels page, I knew I would be making them. I had some heavy cream waiting to be used, and a sweet tooth that needed to be satisfied. So my caramel making adventure began.
Caramel making can be tricky, and more importantly, the cook needs to always keep an eye on the hot liquid so that it does not burn. The directions in the book are very helpful, and ensure that the caramel will turn out well. A few words of caution though: always where shoes when making caramel in case the liquid splatters, keep stirring the pot to ensure even heating, and be prepared when the caramel bubbles profusely when the heavy cream mixture is added.
Overall, this recipe was very easy to make, as long as precautions are taken, and a careful eye is always on the pot. I suggest that you try it too! You'll love it, and more importantly, never have to buy caramels again!
from Salty Sweets, by Christie Matheson
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp fine sea salt
1.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 tsp fleur de sel
1. Line the sides and bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment
2. Combine the sea salt, butter, cream and vanilla in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil the mixture for roughly 4 minutes, and then remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a heavy medium sized saucepan (err on the larger side), combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved completely. Once the sugar is dissolved, boil without stirring- swirling the pan occasionally to keep the mixture cooking evenly- until it is a light amber color and the candy thermometer reads 340 degrees F. This should take about 7 minutes.
4. Turn the heat down to medium low, and carefully stir in the cream mixture. The addition of the cream will make everything foam a lot, so be prepared. Simmer the caramel, stirring often, until the it is 246 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 6-8 minutes. The temperature may hover in the 200 to 220 range for a while, and then it will start to increase pretty quickly, so watch it carefully.
5. Stir in the fleur de sel, then pour the caramel into the prepared baking dish. Do not scrape the saucepan or you might get some burned bits that might be stuck to the bottom. Let the caramel cool for at least 3 hours. Cut the carmel into 1 inch squares and wrap each square in waxed paper or aluminum foil. The caramels will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.