January 9, 2012

Sea salt caramels

Every Valentine's Day, I give something homemade to the special guy I am seeing. It is never terribly expensive, and never over the top; just something that says, "I was thinking about you". In years past, I have made brownies, painted a coffee mug, and made cards - some of which looked like they were made by a three year old as I never seem to know when to put the glue down! haha I hope my last boyfriend destroyed the evidence of my crafting retardation. So this year there will be no card; instead, I am making sea salt caramels.

Making your own candy always elicits praise and adoration disproportionate to the effort you put into it, and that's not a bad thing. So whip up these delicious, chewy caramels, give them to the one you love, and bask in adoration reserved for candy making gods or godesses.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/8 cup corn syrup
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping tsp butter
  • sea salt for sprinkling on top of caramels

Method
  1. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine cream, butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until just barely boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan (3-4 quart, tall sides), combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat until boiling, stirring often.
  4. Continue boiling the sugar mixture without stirring; instead, occasionaly lift and swirl the pot. Boil until the sugar mixture is caramel colour. Be sure to constantly watch the pot as once the syrup begins changing colour, it changes quickly and you do not want it to get too dark as it will taste burnt.
  5. When the sugar mixture is a nice caramel colour, pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture while stirring constantly. Use caution as the caramel will foam up.
  6. Continue boiling the caramel until it reaches precisely 250f. The second it reaches 250f, remove the pan from heat. This is important as a couple of degrees when candy making means the difference between crunchy caramel and nice chewy caramel.
  7. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan.
  8. After the caramel has been allowed to fully cool, remove it from the pan and cut into pieces. (I used a small heart shaped cookie cutter)
  9. In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and 1 heaping teaspoon of butter. Microwave on high 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each cycle, until the chocolate is melted.
  10. Dip the caramel pieces in the melted chocolate. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to allow the chocolate to set.
  11. After approximately 20 minutes, when the chocolate has begun to set, sprinkle one of the chocolate covered caramels with a few grains of sea salt. If the salt turns transparent, let the chocolate set a bit longer. You want the salt to stick to the chocolate, but not dissolve in the chocolate. When the salt sticks, but does not dissolve, continue sprinkling all of the caramels
  12. Wrap each caramel in a square of wax paper.

Tip: For $2.99 I bought a small, stainless steel box at Michael's craft store, which I then lined with parchment paper. You could also use rafia to attach a gift tag and to tie the tin as you would with a ribbon.
Enjoy! :D

13 comments:

Allison Young said...

this looks delcious!! i am thinking of trying it out!

www.absurdlypeculiar.blogspot.com

The Chatter said...

Looks really good, im not much of a chocolate person but ill make the exception. Not many people take the time to do such so at least i can now make Sea Salt Carmels. Thanks for the recipie

Lalina said...

WoW absolutely mouthwatering! This was my first visit to your blog, but if all your recipes are this good, I'll certainly be back!

The Leightons said...

One of us is incapable of actually cooking/preparing/making these DEVINE looking caramels. That would be me. ELC. If only I could reach through this computer and snatch one! Or talk TLC (my daughter) into making them for me. (Maybe I can!) You have a BEAUTIFUL blog and express yourself wonderfully. It's fun to read and enjoy the amazing pictures. Can't wait to share this with others. Thank you!

Ben Lustig said...

I love Sea Salt Caramels! And you are absolutely right about making candy! My wife does thus and she gets so much praise... She loves it. And I love to eat it. ��

MTO Photography said...

This looks really good. Maybe I should try to bake these this weekend :)

Enero Estrada said...

Seems very tasty to me.

Angharad Jones said...

First visit to your blog and I'm already addicted!

For the Love of... said...

Beautiful blog! I love this recipe!

Grace S. said...

Sea Salt is good with caramel ;)

Brandee said...

Hi,

I'm a features writer for The Gainesville Times in Northeast Georgia and would love to highlight this recipe in an article. Would you mind shooting me an email at bthomas@gainesvilletimes.com, so we could discuss the possibility?

Thanks!

Susan said...

This looked so good I pinned it. Going to try making it this weekend. Thanks!

Fakhita Sousou said...

I really love it thanks
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