Select a size: | | | |
|Servings 10||Difficulty Easy|
You will also need the following equipment:
3- to 6-quart sauce pan
dish with cold water
9×13 glass dish or rimmed cookie sheet
desired items for dipping (optional)
For the caramels:
1. Test your candy thermometer (see notes below).
2. After you have tested your thermometer, line your pan with parchment paper. Be sure to cover up the sides of the pan.
3. If you will be dipping, prepare your items such as apples or pretzels and any toppings like chocolate or chopped nuts. Set aside.
4. Fill a small dish with cold water and grab your pastry brush. Set these aside for later.
5. Cut the butter into even-sized cubes to ensure even melting. Melt over low heat in a sauce pan.
6. Carefully add sugar by pouring it into the center of the pan. You don’t want the sugar climbing up the sides and crystalizing. Use the damp pastry brush you set aside to brush down any sugar crystals from the side of the saucepan.
7. Stir the brown sugar slowly until completely combined with melted butter.
8. Add corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
9. Start stirring with your pot on medium heat for 1 minute, combining all the ingredients you just added.
10. Slowly raise temperature to medium-high and keep string until boiling. It is very important to change the temperature slowly so you don’t shock your candy.
11. Once boiling, clip on your candy thermometer, not letting it touch the bottom of the pan.
12. When caramel is boiling, if you have been stirring well, you should have the butter fully blended into the caramel mixture, not separated.
13. Reduce heat to about medium, adjusting accordingly so that you keep a moderate, steady boil.
14. Stir frequently. If you let your caramel go too long without stirring, the sugar will separate from the butter and become greasy. Keep stirring!
15. Temperature does not rise at a steady rate, so watch your thermometer closely.
16. Now it depends on what you plan on doing with your caramel, so use the temperatures below for what you want.
230–233ºF Thread (caramel dip)
234–240ºF Soft ball (dipping apples, etc.)
244–248ºF Firm ball (soft chewy caramel candy)
17. When thermometer reaches 244ºF, remove caramel from heat. See high altitude note at bottom if needed.
18. Remove caramel from heat and slowly stir in vanilla.
19. Be very careful from here on out, this stuff will burn you. If dipping, start immediately. If making caramels, pour the caramel into the parchment-lined pan.
20. Allow to cool for several hours to overnight. Sprinkle fleur de sel over caramel and use a knife or kitchen shears to cut pieces. I use a pizza cutter but be careful with it so you keep your lines straight. Wrap in parchment paper or wax paper. You need patience for this, it takes a while! So turn on your favorite TV show and get to wrapping.
1. Whenever you are using a candy thermometer, make sure you test it beforehand. An inaccurate thermometer will ruin everything! To test, clip a candy thermometer onto a pan full of cold water and bring it to a boil. Don’t let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. Boiling water should read 212°F. If your water is boiling and the reading is different, make note of the difference and apply this when making your carmel. (To help, if the thermometer says the boiling water is 210ºF and not 212ºF that means you are at a 2º difference. So when the thermometer reaches 242ºF you will take your caramel off the heat then instead at the normal 244ºF. If this is all too confusing, just buy a new thermometer, that’s what I would do!)
2. High-altitude: If you live over 7,000 feet, take the candy off at 227ºF. Use the NMSU E215 Guide for reference and use the lowest temperature for a chewy candy.