Caramel is by far a serious sweet. There is definite science involved. You will need to purchase a candy thermometer, and you'll certainly want all the little ones, if you have them, out of the kitchen, just in case of a spill.
The outcome, however, is worth the 30 minutes of grueling chemistry. Cool, cut and wrapped, these candies will be gone in a flash.
Chocolate Caramel with Sea Salt
For the Caramels:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbs. bourbon
- 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 ½ cups caster sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
For the Chocolate:
- 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ to 1 ½ teaspoons melted butter
Extra sea salt for sprinkling
Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.
Bring cream and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Boil, stirring gently occasionally until mixture is a light golden caramel and sugar is completely dissolved.
Carefully stir in vanilla extract, sea salt, and cream mixture.
Watch out, this mixture will bubble up.
Simmer, stirring often, until caramel registers 250°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. A candy thermometer will read hard ball stage.
Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Immediately pour into your oiled baking dish and cool at least three hours.
Remove caramel from pan and cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave at 50 percent power for 20 seconds at a time until melted. Stir in between each microwave interval.
Add melted butter a little at a time using a teaspoon until it reaches a smooth consistency for dipping.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Dip caramels, one at a time, in the chocolate. Place dipped caramels on the parchment.
Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt and set aside for chocolate to become firm.
Speed up drying time by refrigerating the caramels until the chocolate is set, if desired.
If you are looking for caramels you DON"T have to cook, however, Revel Chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates are laced with bourbon and are a perfect gift for anyone. Or just for yourself!
These chocolates boast a serious flavor pairing, including rye whiskey and bergamot.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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