Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade Gifts: Fleur De Sel Caramels

Christmas 2011 I decided to make all those near and dear to me my favorite candy in the world - Salted Caramels! I have hung onto this recipe for a very long time, shopped for my specialty salt and have simply been waiting for the opportune time to bake and share [otherwise Id be afraid, if I had that many in my home I would EAT THEM ALL!]

Below are the easy steps on how to make your own!
Ingredients:
1 cup golden syrup (i.e. Roger’s or Lyle’s can be found at World Market or most British shops)
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
fleur de sel or flaky sea salt 
(Sur La Table has an amazing selection)

Method:
  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9″x9″ baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. Combine the syrup, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. 
  3. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. 
  4. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook uncovered, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 305°F. 
  5. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan ; turn off the heat and set aside.
  6. When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. 
  7. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning to more frequently at the end, until the mixture reaches 260°F for soft, chewy caramels or 265°F for firmer, chewy caramels.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, if using it. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for an hour or so, until slightly firm but still tacky. 

  1. Sprinkle the surface lightly with flaky salt, pressing gently to help it adhere if you need to. Leave for another 3-4 hours, or until firm.
  2. Invert the sheet of caramel onto a dry cutting board or sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the foil, sprinkle the other side with more salt. Cut the caramels with a large, sharp knife. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.

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