You know those caramel squares you get from the grocery?
You know. These.
Though they start out a little...ummm, difficult to chew at first.
But worth the effort in the end.
Now, take a gander at this.
Square form. Caramel-y color. Could it be? Homemade caramel?
Oh yes! And not just any caramel.
Upscale, fancy caramel.
Chewy and delicious.
Add a touch of special salt and...Holy Toledo!
Gems of heaven.
Here's what you'll need:
Heavy cream, butter, fleur de sel salt (I got mine at Williams-Sonoma, you could also get some here), sugar, light corn syrup, water and a candy thermometer.
First things first. Prepare the pan you pour your caramel into to set. Pretty important to spray your parchment paper lightly.
You don't want to leave ANY precious caramel behind. That would be ridiculously mean.
Now you can start making the goodness by bringing your cream, butter and fleur de sel to a
boil in a small saucepan. Now, I haven't made this with any other salt - this was my first time making caramel - but I'm sure you could use kosher salt.
Make sure your stirring occasionally. Once it boils take it off the heat and set aside.
In another (larger) saucepan, bring your sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil. Make
sure to stir until all of the sugar is dissolved. No gritty texture here!
Once you have a nice boil going - leave it alone. Let the yum boil, swirling it every now and again. You want it to turn to a nice rich golden "caramel" color. hee hee
Now, see that other small saucepan on the cooktop? The one with the cream,
butter and fleur de sel in it?
Now, very carefully add this to the boiling sugar mixture.
It will bubble up!
It may surprise you.
But this is cooking science and strange and glorious things happen to
create unctuous deliciousness.
(Unctuous - love that word.)
Your cream mixture is in your sugar mixture - bubbling.
Stir and turn the heat down to simmer.
Get out that infrequently used candy thermometer and attach to saucepan.
Stirring occasionally, allow caramel to come to 248-250 degrees F.
Let the caramel cool for some hours.
(I add a bit of fleur de sel to the top of the cooling caramel - yum!)
I actually let mine cool for 2 hours like the recipe suggested and found that the caramel was still too soft to cut into squares. So, into the fridge it went.
Check it out! Uniform strips of caramel.
I almost starting gnawing on one of those.
I stopped myself. As far as you know.
A delicious treat!
I had never made these caramels before. Or any caramel for that matter.
I was a bit apprehensive. Nervous even.
But, it wasn't hard. It was awesome!
I've gained four pounds.
Here's the recipe:
Fleur De Sel Caramels
(adapted from Epicurious.com)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.
In a small saucepan, bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
In another saucepan, boil sugar, corn syrup, and water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.
Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will really bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour into prepared baking pan and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in parchment or wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.
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