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homemade caramels

March 8th, 2011 · 2 Comments

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I would never have dreamed of making homemade caramels until I read a recipe for chocolate cookies that are baked with a caramel “surprise” inside. Does that sound amazing or what? Truth be told, the cookies bombed (bummer) but the caramels were absolutely delicious. They were perfect – chewy, sweet, buttery, and addictive to the core. In fact, the caramels were so good that the first batch of caramels seems to have sprouted legs and walked away. I have made two more batches since. And that was only two weeks ago. I’m a little ashamed to admit that.

You’ll need a candy thermometer for this. It is imperative that you know when your caramel reaches 248 degrees – exactly. My first batch was pretty amazing. I got cocky cooking my second batch and didn’t watch it nearly as closely. By the time I checked it again, the temperature was above 260 and my caramel is still sitting on the counter, just as hard as the glass dish that it’s sitting in. I undercooked my third batch (I was a bit afraid of it slipping above 248 again without me noticing).

After several batches, here are some hints for ultimate success:

- Watch the thermometer carefully.

- After you add the cream mixture, stir the caramel occasionally to ensure that you aren’t just measuring the temperature in a spot that is warmer or cooler than the surrounding candy.

- Let your caramel cool completely in the fridge before eating it.You don’t have to store it in the fridge after it cools, but it will hold its shape a bit better.

homemade caramels
recipe from www.thepastryaffair.com

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 cups heavy cream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (flaked sea salt), plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Line the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment, allowing the parchment to drape over 2 ends (for easy removal). Lightly oil the parchment paper.

In a very large saucepan (the size of a big soup pot), place the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not stir! Keep boiling until the caramel is golden brown in color. Watch closely so it does not burn.

In a large saucepan, combine the cream and butter. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.

As soon as the caramel is a warm golden brown, slowly add the cream mixture. It will boil up violently. If it threatens to boil over, stop adding the cream mixture, allow the caramel to settle down and add the rest. With a wooden spoon, stir in the fleur de sel and vanilla extract.

Using a candy thermometer, cook the caramel over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 248 degrees F (firm ball stage), between 5 and 10 minutes.

Very carefully pour the caramel in the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Once firm, flip the caramel onto a cutting board and slowly peel back the parchment paper. Cut the caramel into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle fleur de sel on top of the caramels to taste.

You can choose to wrap the caramels individually in parchment paper or store them in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated for firm caramels or at room temperature for soft caramels.Wrap in wax paper squares to make storage even easier!

 

 

 

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Tags: 60 min or less · dessert · kitchen tips

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Barefeet In The Kitchen // Aug 9, 2011 at 8:32 am

    There are lovely! My best friend makes caramels ever year and they are amazing. This is very close to the same recipe. Delicious!

  • 2 Rebecca // May 29, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Ahhh these look great!! I love caramels!! I will have to try making these. :)

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