Salted Caramels

I don’t like caramel. That’s probably a good thing to stay to start with because it explains why I’ve never ever tried making it before. But then my friend started raving at me about how salted caramel was the most awesome thing in the universe and I thought I should try it just so that I could disagree with her properly. However, I found myself converted – which was irksome because it’s hard to be properly curmudgeonly when you go around spontaneously agreeing with folks. So naturally I had to overcome this by pwning the recipe and trying to make my own…

Also, naturally, I left it to the very last minute for meeting the January deadline which meant I didn’t have enough of all the ingredients and I had to fudge things (pun intended)…

ingredients

Ingredients
300ml (10.1 floz) double cream
45g (1.6 oz) butter
85g (3 oz) sugar
3 tbsp glucose syrup
40ml (1.5 floz) water
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g (5.3 oz) dark chocolate

Step One: Line a brownie tin (or other baking tray type thing with raised sides) with greaseproof paper, make sure the paper overhangs the tin. Oil the greaseproof paper. Revel in the irony of making the greaseproof paper greasy.

Step Two: Put butter and cream in a pan and heat over a mid-lowish heat until the butter’s melted, then bring to the boil. Remove from heat.

Step Three: Put sugar, syrup and water in another pan and heat over a mid-high heat…

DO NOT STIR. No, really. Don’t. Because if you do then Bad Things will happen. I’m not sure what, I’ll have to google it at some point, or possibly just ask Ilira because she seems to know, but I’m guessing we’re talking cataclysmic universe implosion or something. This was by far the hardest part of the whole recipe for me and I had to run back to my keyboard and get talked down from the impending stir-frenzy by Ilira.

Step Three (cont): Keep boiling until it turns a golden brown colour. Try and get it to be the same golden brown colour all over. Give up and figure it will all even out when you mix the other stuff in later.

Step Four: Slowly add cream mixture to caramel. Or. Add quickly and squeak loudly as it almost boils over the top of the pan as you grab the handle and pull the pan off the heat until it calms down. Stir in fleur de sel and sugar.

Step Five: Cook over a medium heat for a bit – all the recipes I found said to use a confectionary thermometer and heat until about 248 F, however I don’t actually own a confectionary thermometer so… Fortunately I found one recipe that said 5-10 minutes so my winging of the cooking time was given some guidelines. In the end I think I ended up cooking it for about 9mins, but that’s mainly because I got distracted by bunnies or something, I’d only intended to let it go for 7-8.

Step Six: Pour in to pre-lined tin and stick in the fridge for an hour.

Step Seven: Take out of fridge and chop in to bits.

chopped up caramel

Step Seven (cont): Decide bits are the wrong shape and roll up in to sausagey-type things. Sprinkle with more fleur de sel and stick back in the fridge whilst you get on with step eight.

caramels waiting to be covered in chocolate

Step Eight: Melt chocolate in a bowl – I used 70% cocoa chocolate – I tend to break it up and do it in the microwave, 15s on high at a time and stir in between until it’s not lumpy anymore. Put some more greaseproof paper on a baking tray or large plate, etc, no need to grease it this time. Take caramels out of fridge and dip in chocolate, making sure they’re completely covered. Put on greaseproof paper. Stick back in fridge for 30 mins until chocolate is set.

finished product

And that’s pretty much it. I did have a photo of one cut in half but it’s too dark to see anything. When I’m not in such a rush to meet the deadline I’ll use a proper camera rather than the one on my phone. Will probably decorate them in some way when I’m doing more than experimenting as well. If such a thing comes to pass I’ll make a revisit post and get the hubby to help take proper photos.

Straight out the fridge these are quite chewy and stick-in-teethy, I prefer to leave them out for a while and they’re a lot softer.