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Fleur de Sel Caramels!

March 4, 2010

Fleur de sel. It’s undeniably delicious and I’m learning that it’s perfect for (almost) all cooking and sometimes even baking! A few days ago I decided to give 2 brand new things a try.  The first is making any sort of candy on the stove.  Pretty tricky and I can’t lie, even though I have 2 candy thermometers I still burnt these caramels just a touch. The second new thing for me is this Maldon Sea Salt a woman recommended to me while I had my brow furrowed in all the different types of sea salt at William’s Sonoma.  Both were pretty fantastic.

Apparently it’s pretty tough to make candy on the stove top.  Sponge toffee, caramels etc. all require certain temperatures before they are set to cool.  Even though these temperatures don’t seem that important, I think they really are because each type of candy requires a different heat.  But hey! as a first attempt, I would call these caramels a success. They were a touch too salty for my liking but I still ate about 4 in one sitting.  This batch didn’t make as many as I was expecting so I cut em up small so I wouldn’t feel tooo bad after eating a couple more than I should.  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa.

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
1/4 c light corn syrup
1  1/2 heavy cream
5 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tsp. fleur de sel
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
some extra fleur de sel to sprinkle

1. Prepare an 8 inch square pan by lining it with parchment paper and brushing said parchment with a splash of olive oil
2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil in a deep, heavy bottom pot over medium heat until the caramel is a beautiful golden brown (it takes a while)
3. While your caramel bubbles away, throw the cream, butter and tsp of fleur de sel in a smaller pot over meduim heat until the mixture simmers, then set it aside with the lid on
4. Once your corn syrup is nice and browned (not too dark though, be careful!), slowly add the cream mixture to it.  It will bubble up and go crazy but just keep stirring it until the angry rage of your caramel has mellowed a bit
5. Stir in the vanilla and cook until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees.  This is supposed to take 5-10 minutes but mine took longer…and I think I ended up burning it so take your time!
6. Once at 248, pour the caramel into the prepared pan ad refrigerate until it’s cooled and feels hard to the touch
7.Pry the caramel out of the pan using the parchment paper.  Ms. Garten suggested rolling the sheet of caramel into 2 logs and cutting from there, then topping with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.  I thought that was a little too tricky for me so I sprinkled my big sheet of caramel first then cut it up however way I felt! The long ones took less parchment paper to wrap than the square ones but I may not have gotten the technique quite down yet. Moral of the story: cut the caramel however you please and sprinkle with fleur de sel
8. Wrap each individual caramel using parchment paper by twisting each of the ends (takes a lot of parchment)
9. Untwist and enjoy!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:45 am

    Just a touch too salty.

    The texture was perfect, and I couldn’t tell that they were burnt. I’m not sure they were.

    I would check some other recipes to verify the amount of salt. Even brushing the salt off the caramel, you could still taste it.

    Looking forward to the next batch!

  2. March 7, 2010 3:29 pm

    I definitely want to try this recipe – I love making caramels!

  3. March 7, 2010 4:00 pm

    Your caramels are beautiful.

  4. aevarga permalink
    March 7, 2010 7:53 pm

    So lovely! I made Ina Garten’s at the holidays for gifts ( but I love the shape of yours. How’d you get them so perfectly rectangular?

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