As the holiday crafting days got shorter and fewer, I found myself still looking for something to make for friends. At the 11th hour, I stumbled across a recipe for salted caramels.
Making caramels was so much easier than I anticipated, although they do take some time. I used a recipe from Epicurious with very few changes.
Fleur De Sel Caramels
1 cup whipping cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or other type of fancy salt)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Combine the first three ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; set these aside. In a large pot, add the sugar, corn syrup and water; stir until the sugar fully dissolves. Bring this mixture to a boil, swirling the pot (not stirring). While the mixture is boiling, you'll notice the sugar mixture start to change in colour; keep swirling the pot until the mixture is a light caramel brown. It took about 20-25 minutes to reach this point for me.
Now it's time to add your whipping cream mixture. Be careful! Add it slowly, because when you mix the syrup and milk together, they'll bubble up and spit at you. Just take your time, and you should be fine. Once they're fully mixed, simmer on low until the temperature reaches 248 degrees farhenheit. Remember to stir the caramel often so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot! When you've reached the right temperature, pour the mixture into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper.
I wasn't clear when I needed to put the candy thermometer in the pot, so I just clipped it to the side of the pot when I started making the sugar mixture. It seemed to work out fine. I also tripled the recipe without any problem.
These caramels are soft and perfectly chewy, but don't stick to your teeth like store bought caramels. The most difficult thing about making the caramels was trying not to eat them when I was wrapping them! I can't wait to make more soon, adding other flavours like vanilla and chocolate. Yum!