Salted Caramels are everywhere these days. Every food shop on Etsy has its own variety. If you Google the term 'salted caramel', literally thousands of recipes come up. It's like a 'Salted Caramel Movement' has suddenly exploded into the world. I was afraid of tasting them because I had no idea what to expect.
I had all of the ingredients in the fridge and a new jar of Sea Salt.
Now I regret not making them before.
The sweet and salty combination is amazing, plus the chewyness (is that a word?) of the caramel candy really takes it to another level. Now I know what people mean when they say the phrase 'grown up candy'.
The caramel flavor is perfectly accented by the sea salt and the color combination looks very elegant. Give them out to your friends as a party gift.
Recipe adapted from here. It yields 40 - 50 candies depending on how small you cut them. I like small pieces, so I don't eat them all at once.
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, bean paste, or powder
rounded 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup, golden syrup (such as Lyle’s) or rice syrup
1 cup (200 g) sugar
4 tablespoons (60 g), total, salted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1. Line a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan with foil and spray the inside with cooking spray.
2. Heat the cream with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan with the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm while you cook the syrup.
3. In a medium, heavy duty saucepan (4 quarts, 4l), fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the corn syrup, golden, or rice syrup with the sugar, and cook, stirring gently, to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Once the mixture is melted together and the sugar is evenly moistened, only stir is as necessary to keep it from getting any hot spots.
4. Cook until the syrup reaches 310ºF (155ºC).
5. Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth.
6. Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260F (127C).
7. Remove the pan from the heat, lift out the thermometer, and stir in the cubes of butter, until it’s melted and the mixture smooth.
8. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and wait ten minutes, then sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt over the top. Don't press them into the caramel. Set on a cool rack and let cool completely. Once cool, lift out the foil with the caramel, peel away the foil, and slice the bar of caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles.
*Store them in an air tight container in a cool place so they don't stick to each other. NOT in the fridge.*