Honey & Sea Salt Caramels

        From the blog For Love of the Table

Fleur de sel, or other coarse, flaky salt (to taste)

2 c. heavy cream (464 g)

1/4 c. water (56 g)

1 c. light corn syrup (328 g)

1/3 c. honey (112 g)

2 1/3 c. sugar (467 g)

1 T. unsalted butter

1/2 t. table salt or fine sea salt

1 t. pure vanilla extract

 

Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square, straight-sided metal baking pan with two long sheets of criss-crossed parchment. Spray lightly with spray release (“Pam”), or brush lightly with vegetable oil—use a paper towel to blot away any excess spray or oil.  Sprinkle sparingly with fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt, if you like.  Set aside.

 

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until steaming hot.  Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep the cream hot.

 

Combine the water, corn syrup, honey, and sugar in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved and is beginning to simmer.  Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.  Attach the candy thermometer to the saucepan, increase the heat to moderately high, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is caramelized to your preference...  I think 320° to 325° is optimal for the best flavor and color.  It will take about 10 minutes to reach this point.  If you prefer a lighter caramel, you can stop at 305°.  Don’t go beyond 330°. 

 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter.  Gradually stir in the hot cream.  Be careful, it will bubble up and steam dramatically.  Return the pan to medium to medium-high heat (regulate the heat so that the caramel cooks at a vigorous boil.) and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 250°F—about 15 minutes.

 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and the vanilla. Pour the caramel into the lined pan.  Sprinkle the surface with more fleur de sel.  Let set until firm—at least 4 to 5 hours…overnight if you have time. 

 

Loosen the edges with a lightly oiled knife.  Lift the caramel from the pan using the overhang of parchment.  Cut the caramels with a thin and sharp oiled knife into any shape or size you desire. Wrap each caramel individually in waxed paper. 

 

I prefer small caramels, so I cut the large square of caramel into 16 half inch strips and then cut each strip into 9 one inch lengths.  A 3- by 3 1/2-inch rectangle of waxed paper is the perfect size for wrapping these small caramels.  This size will yield 144 (12 dozen) small caramels.    


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