Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fleur de Sel Caramels

For more than a couple years now I’ve wanted to make homemade caramels to give as gifts at Christmas.  I found myself with some heavy cream in my fridge for a recipe I didn’t end up using, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally do it!

I can’t believe it took me so long to finally get around to making these!  Much simpler (and less messy) than making cookies, these caramels are the perfect addition to a holiday treat bag.  I must admit, the presence of fleur de sel wasn’t as prominent as I’d hoped,  but that doesn’t detract from the deliciousness.  These also weren’t quite as soft as I was thinking they would be, but that might have been my fault, as I didn’t notice the mixture had reached the “soft ball” stage until it was a couple degrees past!  You’ve really got to keep an eye on it, as it can change fast.  Either way, this is a recipe I’d definitely make again, perhaps upping the amount of salt, and keeping a closer eye on the thermometer.  These were well received with the staff of the show I edit, that I gave them to as well.  So here ya go Kahla, here’s the recipe.  ;)

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Fleur de Sel Caramels

from Gourmet, via Epicurious

Ingredients:

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

Special equipment: parchment paper; a deep-fat thermometer

Directions:

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.

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14 Responses to “Fleur de Sel Caramels”

  1. 1
    Kerstin — December 19, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

    I love caramels but haven’t made them at home before – I just bought some corn syrup to do so though :)

  2. 2
    Caroline — December 20, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    These look amazing! I’ve made caramels a few times, and it always makes me want to try again, because I’ve overcooked them slightly before, and I want to make them perfect. Yours look delicious, I would gladly accept some as a holiday treat! ;)

  3. 3
    Lindsey — December 20, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    These look great! I’ve been reluctant to DIY caramels but I might just have to after looking at these.

  4. 4
    Jennifer (Delicieux) — December 20, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    These look great. I love caramel.

    I’ve been meaning to make fleur de sel caramels for a while but haven’t got around to it. Thanks for reminding me :D

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  6. 5
    Lesley — December 21, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

    I love the Fleur de Sel caramels from Trader Joe’s and it doesn’t appear that they have them this year. That makes me SO SAD! However, I don’t know that I’ll suck it up and make my own. I wonder if I can just melt some Kraft caramels, add my Fleur de Sel and let them harden back up a bit. Worth trying. :)

  7. 6
    Susan — December 22, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    I’m so nervous about making my own caramels. They seem tricky! But, yours looks fabulous and I have to give this recipe a try!

  8. 7
    Vivek — December 23, 2010 @ 1:47 am

    I want! These look great – I think I’ll have some time to make them tomorrow!

  9. 8
    Guillaume P. — December 23, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

    There’s something wrong about that recipe. The turning point of the sugar mix between “golden” and “damn it’s to dark and bitter” is a matter of seconds. I didn’t succeed on the first attempt.

    I’ll try a second time. Maybe it’ll work.

    • Erin replied: — December 23rd, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

      Aww, I’m sorry to hear that! :( I mentioned it, but it was buried in a paragraph before the recipe. Perhaps I should note it in the recipe body as well.

  10. 9
    Emma — December 26, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

    I just made these and they ended up quite hard instead of chewy. They are still tasty, like a werthers, but I was wondering if that had ever happened to you?

    • Erin replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

      Mine ended up more like a softer version of a sugar daddy. They were a bit hard at first, but once they warmed up in my mouth, they were softer. It seems yours got too hot, did you use a thermometer? Your best bet next time, is take it off the heat BEFORE it reaches 248 degrees, perhaps at 240, because it will actually continue to cook the few seconds it’s in the pan before you pour. It can all happen rather quickly!

  11. 10
    ingrid — January 9, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    Like you I’ve been meaning to make Fleur de Sel Caramel but haven’t gotten around to it. I need to change that.
    ~ingrid

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