Salted Caramels

Since this is the first holiday season in a while that I’m not traveling, I decided this would be the year I learned how to make candy. Candy-making has always seemed a bit daunting to me (fancy thermometers, parchment paper, and the general threat of a nasty sugar burn), so I decided to start with a basic caramel recipe from Saveur. Since a few of the comments questioned the high temperature, I looked around at other recipes and stumbled across some great tips to consider before getting started.

Key bullet points:

  • Once the sugar and water start boiling, do not touch! You want to avoid crystallization on the sides of the pot at all costs (they create a grainy texture in the candy). If you accidentally slosh any liquid on the sides, just run a damp pastry brush around the edges of the pot to clean it off.
  • Believe it or not, humidity can impede the caramel hardening process. Try to pick a dry day to make this if possible. (Weird, I know.)
  • Temperature – honestly, I followed the Saveur recipe to a T and didn’t run into any problems with the high temperature. Don’t worry if it seems like it’s taking forever to come up to temperature. Mine plateaued around 200º for a while before it started moving up again.

For this recipe you will need:

      1¾ cups heavy cream
      ¾ cup glucose or light corn syrup
      1 tsp. fine sea salt
      1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved (you can substitute a teaspoon of extract if you don’t have a vanilla bean)
      1¾ cups sugar
      Fleur de sel, to garnish

    Combine and heat cream, glucose, salt, and vanilla seeds in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer; remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Line bottom and sides of an 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

    Stir together sugar and ¾ cups water in a 2-qt. saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the mixture turns a medium-dark amber color and a candy thermometer reads 370º. Remove pan from heat; slowly pour cream mixture into caramel. Return saucepan to medium heat; stir until caramel dissolves. Transfer mixture to a 4-qt. saucepan and cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer reads 246º. Pour mixture into prepared pan; smooth top. Let cool completely; then cut into 1″ squares. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and wrap individually in wax paper squares. Store at room temperature.

    Salted Caramels

    original recipe via Saveur

    7 comments

    Reply

    I just had salted caramel sundae and frap yesterday. Does that count? XD

    Reply

    whyyyyyyyy!!!!! I have such a sweet tooth!!.. this looks sooooo GOOD!!! so of course I have to try it!!! even though I said NO candy until after the holidays!!… this doesn't count though as I will call it in the name of blogger support!… delicious!

    http://www.myclayexperience.com/

    Reply

    These caramels looks delicious so I am going to have to venture into the kitchen which I try to avoid at all cost.
    Hope you have a great holiday here in DC.

    Reply

    Look yummy!

    Reply

    Wow that looks so pretty and delicious! will have to try it at home:)

    http://myfashionfoodstyle.blogspot.co.il/

    Reply

    I will admit candy making is so intimidating! I tried to make some caramel last year, but I think I pulled it while it was too soft…. it was good all the same though!
    Chic on the Cheap

    Reply

    Those salted carmels look delicious! I would love to try to make these for friends and family.

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