Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fleur de Sel Caramels

You know how sometimes you try a new recipe and you love it so incredibly much that you find yourself totally preoccupied with it and dreaming up scenarios in which you can make it again soon (like within the next day)? Well that's me and these salted caramels. I made them on Saturday and brought them to a party. I had only a few leftover, but ran out on Monday and haven't stopped fantasizing about them since. I know that was only two days ago, but it feels like way longer. I can't justify making these just to have around the house (that's way too dangerous), so now I find myself itching for any excuse to whip up a fresh batch (this would be an ideal time to invite me over).

Yield: 40-50

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel*, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or light corn syrup)
1/4 cup water

*available at finer supermarkets and specialty foods shops and online

1.      Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.
2.      Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
3.      Boil sugar, brown rice syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel, about 8-10 minutes.
4.      Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 250° F. on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan, sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel and cool for 2 hours.
5.      Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

slightly adapted from Gourmet, October 2004 
Fleur de sel (flower of salt) is a flaky French sea salt.
If you can't find any, you can substitute another coarse sea
salt (or kosher salt), but you might not want to sprinkle it
over the top of the caramels too (it's just not as delicate).
cream, butter and fleur de sel
adding brown rice syrup to the sugar

The original recipe called for corn syrup. If you use
brown rice syrup, it's definitely a little harder to tell
when it turns golden brown (because obviously, it's starting
out kind of golden brown). So I estimated and cooked
it for roughly 8-10 minutes.
golden brown (but it already was)
cream mixture added, bubbling up towards 250° F.
poured into prepared pan
I sprinkled some fleur de sel on top too because I like that
little extra shot of saltiness and the tiny bit of crunch it adds.
cutting the caramels

I removed the entire block from the pan,
peeled off the parchment and then cut them.
I wouldn't make them larger than 1-inch (it's just a little too much;
the caramel kind of takes over your whole mouth, and then you can't
talk for like 5 minutes). Something between 3/4-inch and 1-inch
is probably perfect. When I made these, I ended up with 49.
wrapping a caramel

I didn't have any pre-cut wax paper...I just tore off
pieces from a roll (they don't need to be exactly 4" x 4").
wrapped fleur de sel caramel



Judie Cleland said...

They look so yummy. Would love to have one in my mouth to melt on my tongue!

Eric said...

Susan, if you ever need to get me a gift. These candies are it....they look delish.

Susan said...

Sure thing...and I do believe your birthday is right around the corner. :)

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