Caramels with Sea Salt

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Tasty, tasty...

One of the reasons I love FoodGawker is I can observe trends in the blogger world.  Cupcakes, macarons, cake pops, and lately, sea salted caramels.  (And tonka beans.  What in the world is a tonka bean?!)  I’ve slobbered over many a picture of these delicious little beasts, and it was high time I got off my butt and made them.

Come with me.  I will show you the mysteries.

The key to luscious caramels is cream.  Not half and half.  Not milk.  Heavy whipping cream.  A full artery-clogging cup of it.

The stuff dreams are made of.

The stuff dreams are made of.

Cream

Toss that into a small sauce pan with five tablespoons of butter and heat until the butter melts.  Add a pinch of salt, then bring the cream and butter mixture to a boil.  Once it begins to boil, take it off the heat and set it aside.

Go get some parchment paper and line an 8×8 baking dish.  Keep it near you because you don’t want to be searching for it while your caramels are burning.

Now grab a bigger sauce pan.  Not something too deep because you’ll be whipping out a candy thermometer in a minute, and that bulb of said thermometer needs to be in the center of the mixture, not touching the bottom.

In this sauce pan, add 1-1/2 cups white sugar, a quarter cup of light corn syrup, and another quarter cup of water.  Bring it to a boil and set your candy thermometer in the mixture.  Candy making is a science, entirely dependent on temperature to reach the right consistency, and the temperature can change quickly so don’t walk away.

You will wait until your sugar mixture starts to boil.  DO NOT STIR IT.  It will cause the sugar to crystallize and the entire thing will be borked.  Just let it boil and watch the temperature and color.

When your sugar mixture begins to turn a golden color, it is nearly time for the next step.

Bubbling syrup

Exact science

When your thermometer reads 310°F, grab the saucepan with the heavy cream, and pour it in.  The caramel mixture will bubble very violently, so I hope you picked a deep enough sauce pan.

The color that results will make your mouth water.

Delicious!

You can stir it now, so give it a couple stirs to evenly mix the sugar and cream mixture.  Let it simmer for a while longer until the temperature reaches 248°F.

Find that baking dish I told you to line earlier.  Pour the molten caramel into that dish.  Give it a very gentle tap on your counter top to dislodge any bubbles, then stick it somewhere cold.  The advantage to living in the mountains  in January like I do is you can just stick it out on the deck and it will chill nicely.  I left it out there for a few hours and brought the dish in, diced it up on wax paper squares, and sprinkled it with tasty, tasty sea salt.

I fell in love.  Wouldn’t you?

Close-up of a salted caramel

Om nom nom!

Down the line

 

They just glow in the light!  They’re firm and buttery, melting on your tongue in a sweet and salty swirl.  I might have moaned when I ate the first one.  And the second.  And the seventh.

I do recommend, however, that you keep these guys in the fridge.  They’re sensitive to warmth and will lose shape if left at room temperature.  I don’t expect it to be an issue, though, because you will have eaten them all by the time it occurs to you to save some in the fridge.  It’s okay.  I won’t tell.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

5 tbsp butter

pinch of salt

1-1/2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

sea salt, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

Combine the cream, butter, and pinch of salt to a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a larger sauce pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Do not stir.  Position a candy thermometer so that the bulb is suspended in the liquid without touching the bottom of the pan.  When it reaches 310°F and is a golden amber color, pour in the cream and butter mixture.  Stir until it is evenly mixed and boil until it reaches 248°F.  Pour it into a parchment paper lined 8×8 baking dish.  Cool in the refrigerator until firmly set, about two to three hours.

Dice into small squares and sprinkle with sea salt.

 

 

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Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Spice Fudge

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Pumpkin Spice Fudge

While perusing the intartubes I happened across a recipe for butterscotch fudge.  I thought to myself how tasty it looked.  Then it dawned on me: Pumpkin Fudge.  Mmm!!  I wondered how I could tweak the recipe to make pumpkin fudge.  I also wondered the best way to hide it so I could gorge myself without Mat noticing and wanting some.  The big decisions in life.

It’s really quite simply.  Recipe, and more food porn, after the jump!

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