11/25/11

Foodie Friday--Sea Salt Caramels

For the last few years, I have been looking for the elusive hard caramel recipe that can be cut and dipped for candy giving. I’ve used Peter’s caramel (Country Kitchen Sweetart is actually $4 cheaper than Amazon!) for my turtles for years and have even cut them into small bite-sized squares and dipped them in chocolate. It’s wonderful and buttery, but it hasn’t quite been what I was looking for.

I had wanted to make a salted caramel. I’ve heard about them for years, but just couldn’t find the recipe I wanted . . . until now. This recipe is to DIE for! It has the sweet, salty crunchiness along with the right amount of stiffness that a good caramel should have. Try it--you’ll fall in love with it just like my ‘guinea pigs’ did!

--On a side note, when sugar cooks it splatters and recrystallizes on the sides of the pan just above the liquid line. Many recipes will recommend 'washing' the sides of the pan with water on a brush when cooking sugar. I don't do this any more. It's too time consuming and it really doesn't help. SWIRL the hot sugar mixture periodically, and when you pour the caramel out of the pan to set up, be careful not to scrape the crystalized sugar into the caramel.

SEA SALT CARAMELS


1 1/3 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup (Karo)
½ cup honey (I used Orange Blossom honey, because I had it in the cabinet)
6 Tbls. butter, cut into small cubes, about 24 pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract (Madagascar real vanilla)
2 tsp. sea salt (if you have fleur de sel great, but I used Alessi coarse sea salt)

Dipping chocolate (Merkens)
1 tsp. sea salt for decorating

Line 8-inch square Pyrex baking dish with aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Place cream in large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in sugar, corn syrup and honey, continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Cook candy, swirling occasionally, until it reaches the temperature of 257 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and add butter, vanilla, and salt.  Stir until ingredients are incorporated; take care not to scrape sides where sugar has crystallized.

Pour into prepared pan. Scrap out caramel, but again, take care NOT to scrape areas where sugar has crystallized. Set at room temperature too harden. Lightly cover with waxed paper after it has cooled if you are letting it set overnight before you make your caramels.

Melt chocolate until it is smooth. Place waxed paper sheets on counter for dipped chocolates. Place sea salt in small container to be sprinkled (about 5-6 grains) on top of caramel.

Remove caramel from pan by using the foil ‘handles’. Carefully remove foil as it can tear. Cut caramel into 1/2- inch squares, dip into chocolate until coated. Lift out with dipping fork and place on waxed paper to dry.  Dip a few pieces (I can do about 10 without the chocolate hardening too much, but I’ve been doing this awhile) and then, sprinkle decoratively with salt. Let dry.

Take a sharp thin knife and trim excess chocolate puddling around base of caramels.  Place in paper cups or store in air tight container until ready for giving or eating! Enjoy!!


4 comments:

Twisted Sister said...

Oh YUM! I won't be making this one because I would eat them all.

magolla said...

Cha! I don't even want to think about how many I ate yesterday!

Mary McLarty said...

Heaving cream? 😁

Margaret Golla said...

Hey! Doesn't everyone use heaving cream???

I don't know how many times I made this recipe, but never caught this typo!

Fixing it now!