My mom likes to buy salted caramels, so I thought this year at Christmas I would surprise her and make her some of these fleur-de-sel caramels. These are so addictive! And they look pretty wrapped up in parchment paper, like little Christmas crackers.
This recipe isn’t difficult, but it does take a bit of patience to allow it to cook slowly. If you have some good music playing the time will fly by.
A candy thermometer is helpful but not essential in making these. I’ve had problems in the past with a candy thermometer that is not accurate, so I recommend testing the accuracy of your thermometer by placing it in boiling water – it should read 212F.
What you need:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream (I used Avalon organic cream)
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- fleur se sel
- parchment paper
- optional: 3 oz chocolate (I used 2 oz semi-sweet and 1 oz bitter-sweet)
What you do:
- Line a 9×9-inch pan with lightly buttered parchment paper.
- Combine the sugar, syrup,salt and one cup of the cream in a large pot. Place on medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until it boils. This may take a while, but make sure you don’t raise the heat to hurry it up – it needs to stay on medium
- As the sugar mixture continues to boil, slowly drizzle in the cream, continuing to stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to boil for 5-6 minutes, stirring little.
- Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time so the mixture keeps boiling, and stir until melted.
- For the next steps you need to have patience, as you will need to stir from time to time for about 30-40 minutes. Continue boiling over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. You will begin to see the mixture turn a more caramel-brown colour. If you’ve got a candy thermometer, you want it to read 250F. If you don’t have one, you can get a bowl of ice water and place a drop of the mixture into it. When it forms a “firm ball” in the ice water, take it off the heat right away. After about 40 minutes I finally turned the heat up a little higher because it still hadn’t reached the right temperature and I was running out of time, but they turned out perfectly.
- After removing from the heat, immediately stir in the vanilla.
- Pour immediately into the parchment-lined pan. Just pour it in and don’t scrape the caramel from the bottom of the pot, to avoid crystallization. Of course you can scrape the remaining bit out into another container and eat it – it tastes great too!
- Allow the caramel to cool completely, then remove it from the pan by pulling up the parchment paper.
- With a lightly buttered knife, cut into desired shapes. (At this point if you are going to dip the caramels in chocolate you will do that.) Press the caramels into the fleur de sel so they have a little bit on one side.
- Parchment paper is great for wrapping the individual caramels. Just cut it into rectangles and twist the ends up. I like to use a piece of parchment to pick up the caramels when I am working with them to avoid getting fingerprints on them.
- Enjoy! And share!
While making these I listened to and sang along to Whitehorse’s album, The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss.