Friday, December 19, 2008

Fleur de Sel Caramels

The sweet/salty combination is very addictive: think chocolate-covered pretzels, peanut butter and jelly, and kettle corn. I'd never made caramels before this year, but I was happy with these. They turned out quite chewy, not soft. I sprinkled them with sea salt before they set, which gave them an extra hit of saltiness and a crystal sheen. My father-in-law liked them before knowing they were a sea salt version, which make sense, because he likes salt so much that he thinks pizza isn't salty enough on its own!

The recipe is from Epicurious with my changes. I doubled it and used a 9x13 pan with no problem.

Fleur de Sel Caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse sea salt, and more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Special equipment: parchment paper; a deep-fat thermometer

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn 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.
Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour into baking pan in one pour - don't scrape and add any caramel leftover in the pan, becaues it will harden on the top. Sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

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