I absolutely love caramel! If you were to give me a choice between chocolate and caramel – the choice would be a resounding thumbs up for caramel. Still love chocolate, but if had to choose, caramel is the winner. With the explosion of flavored, salted and burnt caramels – I am in caramel heaven.
Several years ago, I had bookmarked this recipe from Ina Garten and finally got around to making these delightful caramels. The result was amazing. They were creamy, soft and had a perfect balance of rich caramel flavor along with the hint of salt from the fleur de sel - simply sublime.
Yesterday numerous college friends and I celebrated our dear friend Pam’s milestone birthday. It was such a remarkable day to be with long time friends and catching up on everyday life and a bit of gossip thrown in for good measure. Wink. It still astounds me how fast time is flying by and hearing about everyone’s kids growing up. Some are heading off to college while others are still in middle school and high school.
Perhaps it is just my opinion, but I truly believe that everyone is aging extremely gracefully and life is treating everyone well. Good friends are a treasure. Despite everyone living busy lives, it seems like yesterday when we are able to get together and spend time with each other.
As a quick preview, tomorrow is the big reveal for the Secret Recipe Club and my selection will incorporate these fleur de sel caramels. I brought them to one of my offices and let’s just say that one person (who will remain nameless) ate over 10 of the delights I made.
These caramels were so simple to make and worthy of being highlighted for my Simply Sublime series. Thank you Ina for another foolproof recipe!!
Fleur de Sel Caramels
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 sup heavy cream
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla
Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and brush the paper with oil, while allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.
In a deep saucepan combine ¼ 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 to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly towards the end.
In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter and 1 teaspoon of fleur de Sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be very careful, it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
When the caramels are cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the sheet in half. Starting with the long side, roll into one piece of the caramel up tightly into an 8 inch log. Repeat with the second piece. Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends, and cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut glassine or parchment papers into 4 x 5 inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.