Candymaking never really interests me. Of course baking is already an exact science. However, the temperature precision and the perceived danger of working with sugar have always make me wary. It just seems to me so many things can go wrong so easily. Well, until recently. My little Holiday Fudge project was unexpectedly fun. And now I'm itching to try something a little more challenging.
This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz's Salted Butter Caramel (his recipe is much better written recipe with helpful step-by-step pictures, go visit!). This salted butter caramel is so unbelievably addictive. It starts off a bit hard but a few seconds in the mouth and it yields into such soft chewiness. Oh, and the richness! The moment I remove the lid from the apothecary jar, I could smell the irresistable sweetness of cream, butter, and sugar. The lovely saltiness of fleur de sel prevents this caramel from being cloying and adds loads of complexity.
I never knew candymaking can be so rewarding.
- 3/4 cup double cream (40% M.F.)
- 2 tbsp salted cultured butter
- 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 2 tbsp salted cultured butter, cubed and room temperature
- 1/4 tsp fleur de sel
- Line a 9x5 loaf pan with foil. Grease the inside.
- In a small pot, mix together cream, 2tbsp of butter, and 1/2 tsp of fleur de sel. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover with lid and set aside.
- In a medium pot, heat sugar and corn syrup to 310F.
- Remove caramel from heat and stir in cream. It may bubble up but just stay calm.
- Heat the mixture back to 260F. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 tbsp butter until everything is mixed in.
- Pour caramel into prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 fleur de sel. Let it cool overnight.
- Unmold caramel and cut into small squares. I find a heated chef knife works best.
You may woner why I would bother to meticulously wrap each piece of candy in wax paper. There is actually a very practical explanation aside from the fact that I love to wrap presents. You see, after painstakingly cutting the slab of caramel into perfect little squares, I blithely put them away in a box. A few hours later, I was dismayed to find that the squares stuck to each other. So I cut up tiny rectangles of wax paper and wrapped them all up. At this point, it just seemed wrong to stowaway in a dowdy sandwich box. A few years ago I bought a bunch of pretty apothecary jars from Loblaws. I had no idea what to use them for so they've been gathering dust somewhere on the shelf. They are quite simply the perfect vessel to hold these homemade caramel candies. To make the whole presentation more glamourous, I play up the vintage feel and put a golden decal on to the side of the glass jar using transfer sheet. A simple knot of ribbon completes the presentation.