For Halloween last year, I made homemade peanut butter cups, which are as delicious as they sound- and an extremely dangerous item to have about 50 of in your freezer at one time. This year I contemplated making homemade Snickers or Almond Joy Bars- all good choices, but I was craving something more classic. Enter fleur de sel caramels. I am a caramel fiend, people. I really fear for my teeth when this stuff is around, which is why I decided to make them right before I had family come into town so I don’t find myself eating the entire batch! You could wrap these guys in wax paper or serve them on a platter. The flaked sea salt against the glossy caramel makes for a pretty killer presentation, so I went that route.
Are you making homemade candy this year? Any recipes I have to try? Send ‘em my way, and have a lovely weekend! xx
- Vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep), combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don’t stir — just swirl the pan.
In the meantime, in a small pot, bring the cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful — it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half. Starting with a long side, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log. Sprinkle the log with fleur de sel, trim the ends and cut into 8 pieces. (Start by cutting the log in half, then continue cutting each piece in half until you have 8 equal pieces.) It’s easier to cut the caramels if you brush the knife with flavorless oil like corn oil. Cut glassine or parchment paper into 4-by-5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.