Monday, 13 August 2012

Candy heaven: Sea salt and chocolate caramels

Word of advice readers. Pinterest is dangerous.
There's too much food porn on it. There you are, minding your own business then bam! you're in your kitchen making caramels. And you bought yourself a food thermometer. So you know, things just got serious.
I mean, take a look at the pictures that spurred me on to make these caramels and you tell me: would you be able to resist? Would you?
As I always found making caramel a bit daunting I made sure I read all the instructions carefully before I started. The recipe is definitely not too complicated (talk about 4 ingredients!), but a bit of patience and a food thermometer are a must!

The recipe I used is a modified version from a blog called Centsationalgirl. The post itself was hilarious and had me in stitches, especially when I got near the end and read that the author forgot to add butter to the caramels (by the way, I was laughing at the way that realisation was described. Not lack of butter. That's a tragedy). I love it when bloggers admit they made a mistake - it's really refreshing. This story had me reminiscing about all the kitchen mishaps I experienced. Like the time I tried to make chicken with puff pastry lattice but used filo pastry and ended up with undercooked chicken in charred flakes. Not good.
But back to candy!

The main modification was halving the quantities - just in case this didn't work out; I now know that I'll be making a double portion next time! I also used golden syrup instead of corn syrup as I think it's not that easy to get it here in the UK. I tried dipping my caramels into melted chocolate but as they are quite soft I was leaving my fingerprints everywhere so decided to drizzle chocolate on top instead.

To make a small tray (about 20-25 small caramels depending on how small you cut them) you'll need:

Note: the measurements are in American cups. My cup is 237ml.

Start off by measuring all your ingredients and lining a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Gently oil/butter the paper - you don't want your caramels sticking to it later! Get a big pot and food thermometer ready.

Pour cream into the pot and bring up almost to the boil on medium heat. Reduce the heat and add sugar and golden syrup. Stir very gently and keep cooking on small heat.

The mixture will start getting a bit frothy and will come up. Don't panic and keep the heat on minimum.

Keep cooking the mix for about 25 minutes with the food thermometer in (I'm pretty sure that's how long it took, although at the time it felt like ages!). The mix will change colour to a light golden brown and will keep getting more and more golden.

Once the temperature on the thermometer reaches 240 F add butter and stir very gently (try not to scrape the bottom as some sugar is probably stuck there - I still haven't figured out a way of avoiding this).

Once you add the butter watch the thermometer and as soon as it reaches 246 F switch the gas off and pour the caramel into the tray. Don't be tempted to scrape the bottom of the pot (burned sugar warning again!).

Leave the caramel for about 10 minutes and sprinkle with sea salt.

Now leave to cool completely for 2 hrs (being very impatient I stuck my tray in the fridge and it worked very well). I cut my caramels before they were drizzled with chocolate, only to do it again once the chocolate set. You live, you learn.

Once the caramel is cool you can melt the chocolate in a bain marie (a glass bowl sat over a pot of simmering water). Drizzle chocolate over the caramel (Jackson Pollock style!), then stick the tray back in the fridge until the chocolate sets.

Cut into small squares and eat. I guarantee you won't stop at just one piece!

PS. Don't be surprised if people ask you to marry them after trying these. Just sayin'.


  1. haha yeah pinterest is super dangerous. i think i'll never need a cookbook ever again ;)
    these look amazingly yummy though!


  2. thanks for your comments ladies! It's very hard to have just one of these caramels, they're really addictive!

  3. Marushko,

    Wspaniały przepis na karmel! Podejrzewam, że smakuje podobnie jak lody Haagen Dazs o smaku "salted caramel". Muszę wykorzystać ten patent, tylko nie mam kuchennego termometru, ale postaram się zrobić "na oko" ... albo może lepiej najpierw jednak go poszukam...? ;-)

    Serdeczne pozdrowienia,

    1. Edith, dziekuje ze do mnie zajrzalas! :)
      Ja swoj termometr kupilam na amazonie, ale wyglada na to ze w Polsce tez mozna je dostac (wujek Google mowi, ze juz od 11 zlotych). Robilam karmel wiele razy bez termometru i cos wychodzilo, ale albo bylo za miekkie, albo za twarde. Takze chyba warto kupic termometr. W blogu ktory podlinkowalam w poscie autorka pisze, ze zaczytywala sie w dyskusjach na temat temperatury do ktorej trzeba podgrzac miksture i ponoc zdania sa podzielone miedzy 246 F a 252 F - niby niewiele, ale ponoc robi roznice. Te karmelki sa idealne, nie za twarde, nie sklejajace szczeki i slodko slone. Daj znac jesli je wyprobujesz!


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