Salted Butter and Chocolate Caramels
Saturday, March 24, 2007
These are soft, chocolatey homemade butter caramels with a hint of salt linguering on my tongue...and I admit it without guilt or shame that I have been eating way too many of them..the ones in the picture were gone in one minute... oops...
I admit that I am a bit of a caramel, cooked sugar, freak and it is not uncommon that I play with it for fun or to enhance a dessert. I am particularly fond of salted butter caramel anything and I was in heaven when we visited Normandy and Brittany because caramels are everywhere (region's specialty) Unfortunately, B. and I are out...we finished the last one a couple of weeks ago and we are starting to show some signs of "salted butter caramels deprivation"...and it got me thinking that there must be a tried and true recipe out there that I can cook up to save us.
I started searching familiar cooking sites and pondered on this one from Epicurious, but the 70/30 rate of success and disaster made me discard it (and there were some pretty awful reviews)... After some more research I found myself on Guillemette's blog again, staring at these several times a day.
Even if you are a novice baker/cook, I encourage you to try your hand at these, especially following the recipe below as it is simple and straightforward. Making homemade caramels is not complicated but some steps are important to follow:
- just like with any other confections or desserts, only use the best quality ingredients available
-always undercook your caramel, meaning do not let it get dark golden, because it will continue to cook once removed from the heat
- buy a candy thermometer, it is cheap and will make your life so much easier
-be patient. Depending on the humidity or heat in your house, your caramel might take longer to cook than what the recipe says...but always read your thermometer and don't try to outsmart burning sugar...
Salted Butter and Chocolate Caramels, adapted from Guillemette:
100 gr. salted butter
3 gr. sea salt
50 gr. bitter sweet dark chocolate
20 ml. water
100 gr. light corn syrup
250 gr. sugar
200 ml. heavy cream
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over hot water bath and set aside. Heat the cream to lukewarm in the microwave also, and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, set over medium heat, combine the water and corn syrup. Add the sugar and let it caramelize until it reaches a light golden brown.
Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream to the caramel. It will bubble like made but do not worry...it will not bubble over and things come down eventually.
Return the pan to the heat and add the butter and the salt. Let the mixture cook until a thermometer registers 118 C ( about 245 F). Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until completely smooth.
Pour into a parchment lined 8X8 inch baking dish. Let sit overnight.
Unmold and cut squares the next day. Wrap them in parchment paper or candy foil if they last long enough to be packed up for guests.
Here are the converted measurements, thanks to Lisa from La Mia Cucina:
½ c. salted butter
½ tsp. sea salt
2 oz. bitter sweet dark chocolate
2 Tb water
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1 ¼ c. sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream