Thursday, February 20, 2014

How To Make Fleur De Sel Caramels

When I'm craving an exquisite dessert or want to make a sweet gift for someone this is my go to recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.

Vegetable oil (I use coconut oil spray but you can use any oil that is flavorless like vegetable oil or pam)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Parchment paper to line the pan and to wrap caramels in
8" x 10" rectangle pan or a square pan close to those dimensions.


To Prep the pan, just line it with foil and parchment paper (you don't have to use foil but I like to), allowing it to drape over 2 sides so you can remove the caramels easier. Brush or spray the lined pan with a flavorless oil or pam.

Gather your ingredients and lets get started!

Boil the sugar.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep), combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don't stir -- just swirl the pan.

This is the color you want to see, be careful not to burn the sugar. A color a bit darker is also ok , just watch it carefully because it can burn in a blink of an eye.

Heat the cream.

In the meantime, cut up 5 tbsp of butter and combine it with 1 cup of cream and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel in a small pan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Finish the caramel.

When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful -- it will bubble up VIOLENTLY.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer.

Fill the pan.

Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm. I like to use the technique of high pouring(VERY CAREFULLY). As the caramel falls into the pan, it cools a bit which could be essential to you being able to lift the caramels off your parchment paper once they cool completely. I made these a long time ago and did not use this high pouring technique, so I ended up peeling all the parchment paper piece by piece since it got stuck due to high heat.

Cut the caramel.

When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half.
Cut into rows, then cut in smaller pieces like and excel sheet about 1/2" by 1" wide. It's easier to cut the caramels if you brush the knife with flavorless oil like corn or vegetable oil.If its taking you a while to cut the caramels, just work with 1/2 of the sheet at a time keeping the other in the fridge. Keeping the caramels cold is essential for you not to get frustrated with the cutting and separating  process. Sprinkle the log pieces with fleur de sel salt as you start to wrap them.

Wrap the candies.

Cut the parchment paper into 4-by-5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled. I made mine as gifts, and I used plastic wrap, ribbon and twine to wrap them into little satchels.



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