Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Caramels may not be the most fancy or snazzy candy for the holiday season, but in my opinion you just can't beat a really good caramel. It doesn't get much better than making your own candy, I honestly think I'm getting addicted! It's so gratifying to make your own caramel. This process starts with a few simple ingredients, that are probably staples in every pantry, and then ends with a delicious, chewy candy.
There really isn't a lot to these caramels, a little patience and a candy thermometer is all you need. Watching the granulated sugar transform to a rich, amber colored syrup is so fun and exciting because after that your just a few simple steps away to having a delicious candy. I believe these would make a perfect addition to any Christmas goody basket. Oh, and be sure to make extra so you can enjoy some yourself!
Fleur De Sel Caramels
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup light corn syrup
1 Cup heavy cream
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tsp fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 Cup water
Line an 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and brush with oil. Allow the paper to drape over 2 of the sides. Set aside.
Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a deep sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture is golden brown. Do not stir the mixture, just swirl the pan to mix the ingredients. Watch carefully, it will easily burn close to the end.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, combine the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful as it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spool and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reaches 248 (firm ball). Very carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate a few hours, until firm.
When the caramels are cold, remove the sheet from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut the sheet in half. Starting with the long side, roll the caramel tightly into an 8 inch long log. Repeat with the remaining caramel. Sprinkle both logs with the fleur de sel, trim the ends and cut each log into 8 pieces. Cut parchment paper into 4x5 inch pieces and wrap individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
Recipe Source: Barefoot Contessa