However you say it, caramels are a yummy treat. I've wanted to make them for a while but have resisted because they seemed too finicky with their temperature specifications which is intimidating. But last night, armed with my new candy thermometer, I set out on a quest to conquer these sugary candies. In the battle of high-heat-scary-candy-making vs. Jess, I came out ahead! They turned out beautiful and perfectly chewy. I was very careful to stop cooking at exactly 248 degrees. As I learned in my pre-cooking research, the temperatures between 240 and 250 degrees is what's called the "soft ball" stage" which is ideal for soft, chewy caramels. This stage means that when the caramel is dropped in a glass of cold water, it will form a ball that won't flatten when it's removed, but will certainly be malleable.
I'm glad these turned out so well. I think they're so pretty and will make the perfect gift for a special occasion.
Fleur de Sel Caramels
adapted from Gourmet
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
- Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.
- Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.
- Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.