I've been wanting to make my own caramels for a while now. If you are at all familiar with candy making (like this post about home made toffee, for example) this will be a breeze but even if you have never made candy at all, it is still really easy. The key to success is the candy thermometer. You can purchase these anywhere there is kitchen equipment and probably right at your local grocery store. Good candy making involves some simple chemistry and that means making sure you have the precise temperature required. This batch we will be making is a very soft, gooey caramel. I made another batch that was more like a hard candy (think werther's consistency) and it was only a couple of degrees different so temperature precision is of utmost importance. Other than that, it is a matter of pouring the ingredients in a sauce pan, heating it up, and pouring it in a pan to cool and harden. Simple, right?
Let's start by taking a look at the recipe first:
O.K., Now let's go step-by-step:
1. Gather the ingredients:
Heavy Cream: 1 Cup ( 1/2 cup to start and 1/2 cup later )
Sugar: 3/4 cup
Brown Sugar: 1/4 Cup
Corn Syrup: 1 Cup
Butter : 1/2 Cup
Baking pan: Line a baking pan (I used 8 x 8 x 2.25) with parchment paper overlapping two of the sides then grease it lightly with butter (By overlapping, I mean just make sure to have the paper hang over the edge of the side of the dish. This will give you a handle to lift the caramel once it has hardened in the dish. I just took a stick of butter and rubbed it all over the bottom of the pan and on the sides.
2. Add the ingredients to a saucepan. Allow for room at the top of the pan since the mixture will foam a couple of inches.
Add the Sugar.
and 1/2 cup heavy cream. (Reserve the remaining 1/2 cup for later).
Melt all the ingredients over low heat.
Once all the ingredients are melted, turn the heat up to medium high. Add your candy thermometer and wait for the mixture to reach 243°F.
It should start to foam up a little and boil for a while before reaching 243.
The color also turns a little more amber. It took about 10-15 minutes. It goes really slow at the beginning and then seems to speed up at end. Stir continuously to prevent it from burning in the bottom.
Once the temperature reaches 243°, remove it from the heat and add the 1/2 cup of reserved cream. Stir to combine then put back it back on the heat and bring the mixture to exactly 244°F. It took about 15 minutes. When the mixture reaches 244°F remove from heat and pour into a prepared baking dish to cool. The difference between 244° and 250° can mean a soft chewy caramel vs a hard candy. The good news is they both taste amazing so either way a win-win!
After it has cooled for 10 minutes you can sprinkle a little salt on it if you like a salted caramel. Totally optional. Let it cool for about 3 hours then turn it onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into bite sized pieces.
I used the overlapping edge of the parchment paper to pull the caramel from the pan.
I used a really sharp knife and cut long strips as evenly as possible.
I then cut across the lines I made to create rectangular pieces.
To wrap your pieces, get a piece of wax paper that is about a 1/2 inch overlapping on each side of the piece you cut.
Roll it to cover the piece and then cut it and twist the sides.
There it is all wrapped up and delicious looking.
If there are any left, give them to your sweetie for Valentine's!
Thanks for stopping by!