Three day weekends are so dreamy. We took advantage of the extra day by taking a trip to Boston to visit some of our best friends, Ari and Jillian. They led us to some great food that I’ll be sharing later this week. Before we left, I whipped up my first ever batch of caramels. Oh. Boy. Bad news my friends, bad news. Not because they turned out a disaster, but because they were so dang good it was hard to keep my hands off them. I’ve dabbled in caramel sauce before, sometimes it turns out good, other times it takes a wrong turn and turns into a burnt sugar mess; so I was prepared for whatever came my way. But with a little patience, this recipe turned out perfect.
The recipe calls for fleur de sel, which is a fancy salt that may take a little looking to find. I haven’t done a taste test or anything, but something tells me that the caramels would still be delicious if you substituted sea salt for the other. Beyond that, there are only 5 other ingredients, heavy cream, butter, sugar, corn syrup and water. It always amazes me that something so deliciously good is so simple. As I mentioned before, patience is key to this recipe. You need to be able to stand over the stove top and wait for the syrup mixture to turn golden, then for the cream and syrup to hit the right temperature and finally for the whole thing to harden. So give yourself some time and get ready for a decadent treat.
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.
Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.
Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.*
Pour into baking pan and cool at least 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.
*This actually took me about 25-30 minutes for some reason, so it seems to vary a bit.