This is one of my all time favourite recipes. Possibly my favourite, at least in the top 3. Boiling sugar scares me or rather I should say ‘scared me’. I have overcome my fear as these caramels are so worth trying.
For the last 2 years I have only ever made these caramels at my mums so I have someone more experienced guiding me. But as my parents have fled the country and living in Russia at present I had to go alone this year. Firstly I wait until all the kids are in bed as I’m so worried about little children being anywhere near boiling sugar. Then I have Joel on hand to help pour the hot caramel into the jug. I would recommend having a helping hand so one person can hold the pot and tip whilst the other can scrape out all the delicious caramel with a spatula.
At mum’s I cooked the caramel in a heavy based saucepan but this time I used a big cast iron pot which made the cooking process incredibly quick. The other useful extra I have this year which I haven’t had previously is a silicone mini brownie mold. Generally I am not a fan of cooking in silicone at all but I make the exception for these caramels as they just need to set. I bought the mold specifically for the caramels as I always struggle to cut the slab of caramel into even sized bites. Amazingly the entire batch fits perfectly in the mold and then I leave it for an hour before popping in the fridge. Then you just pop the perfect little caramels out, slice them in half and wrap them. The mold is such an exciting find!
Flicking through these photos I can see such a difference in colour in the caramels. I have photographed two different batches I made and one is a lot darker. Depending on how far you take the sugar, corn syrup and water will determine the colour. The recipe calls for a light golden colour but you can take it a little further for a deeper caramel colour.
I found this recipe at Design Sponge where they make a lovely little origami box out of gift paper to pop the caramels in. They are called Fleur de Sel Caramels as they use Fleur de Sel which I don’t have but I’m really keen to get my hands on some after reading this post from David Lebovitz. Instead I use Maldon sea salt. The recipes calls for 1 teaspoon and I find it needs more then that. At least 1 1/2 teaspoons so I do wonder if Fleur de Sel is well … saltier.
(slightly adapted from Design Sponge)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
In a small saucepan bring the cream, butter and fleur de sel to the boil then set aside.
Carefully pour in the cream mixture. It will bubble up. Then let it simmer, stirring often until the caramel registers 248 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour into the prepared tin and let it cool completely.
Once set they can be sliced into small pieces and wrapped in wax paper. Twist the ends of the wrapper.