I should have made it a New Year’s resolution to only make caramels for other people, because MAN they’re deliciously addicting. Caramel has always been one of my favorite candies. I love the sweet buttery chewiness of them, whether they’re dipped in chocolate or not. And the addition of a little bit of sea salt is divine! Caramel was the first real candy that I’d ever made and I was so proud of how delicious they turned out. I put them on mini decorative cupcake papers and inside a small shiny box and handed them out to all of my family members for Christmas. They were loved so much that it has become a yearly tradition.
Candy can be super intimidating to make, so have all of your ingredients out and ready before you start, read through the directions several times to become familiar with them and just like anything, the more you practice, the better and more comfortable you’ll become. This recipe calls for you to pay special attention to two different degrees on your candy thermometer, so make sure you are familiar with exactly where those are before you start. If you over heat (you’ll make brittle candy) or under heat (you’ll have a sauce), your caramels will not turn out correctly. The two temperatures you need to be familiar with are 320° and 240° (Soft Ball stage). Now read through the recipe a few times and then, what are you waiting for?
- 3 Tbs. water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Course sea salt
- Lightly spray or coat your loaf pan with oil.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper (wax paper will NOT work) to fit inside loaf pan and go up the sides a couple inches. Then lightly spray the parchment paper with oil and set aside.
- Cut butter into pieces and add to heavy cream. Melt together in microwave for approximately 1 min. or until butter is completely melted. Keep close, but set aside.
- In a saucepan on low-med heat, gently add water, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to boil. Add candy thermometer (try not to let thermometer touch bottom of the pan).
- Now have your melted butter/cream ready and watch candy thermometer until it reaches exactly 320°. Heat should be on medium.
- As soon as it reaches 320°, carefully add a little bit of your butter/cream mixture. It will bubble up quickly, stir with bottom of candy thermometer and pour in a little more mixture, stir and continue process until all of the butter/ cream mixture is combined.
- Now replace your candy thermometer and watch for 240° (soft ball stage). It may take a little while to get back up there (5-10 min.), but don’t get distracted!
- As soon as 240° temperature is reached, pour mixture into your loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes and then sprinkle with desired amount of course sea salt.
- Let cool for a few more hours before unmolding and cutting (may also place in fridge for a bit). Use a large sharp knife to get nice squares or rectangles.
This would be a yummy treat for Valentine’s coming up. Your loved ones will be so impressed and well, in love! For pictures, video and extras, check out Inspired Taste. There are a lot of variables that can change how your caramels turn out. They go through all the little details. Don’t get overwhelmed! You can do it!