The Simple Pleasure Hour: Caramel Candy

Monday, June 25, 2012

Balazs loves caramel and each time my dad visits from Poland he brings a bag of "krówka" which is pretty much a caramel candy at its best (at least we think so). Anyway, since we don't have access to "krówka" on weekly basis I made some last week to surprise Balazs. It worked!

Confession: When I was younger I thought that caramel is very hard to make but it's a myth - it's super easy and utterly irresistible. I made it in the evening and left it in the fridge overnight to cool off before cutting it into candy-size pieces. It took about 20 minutes to whip up and next morning about 10 minutes to wrap them. Easy-peasy! They go great with a cup of coffee after dinner or as a little treat when you need a quick pick-me-up.

Here is the recipe, if you fancy trying it yourself. Enjoy!

Fleur de Sel Caramels (Caramel candy)
(adapted from Barefoot Contessa cookbook)

* Vegetable oil (I used Olive oil)
* 1½ cups sugar
* ¼ cup light corn syrup
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel (sea salt), plus extra for sprinkling
* ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Line a square baking pan with baking paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over the sides.

In a deep saucepan, combine ¼ cup water, the sugar, the corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is warm golden brown. Don’t stir - just swirl the pan to mix. In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.

When the sugar mixture* is warm golden colour, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful - it will bubble up, but that is ok. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes (or until the mixture reaches 248 degrees). Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate over night or until firm.

When the caramel is cold, remove the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the sheet in half. Starting with a long side, roll one piece of the caramel tightly into a long log. Repeat with the second piece. Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel (if you wish, but you don’t have to), trim the ends, and cut each log in 8- 10 pieces. Cut the baking paper into square pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled. Ta-dah!

Lovelies, how do you feel about caramel? Do you like it? Would you try this recipe? What's your favourite candy?

P.S: Also, our favourite breakfast-for-dinner: poached egg and avocado toast!

update: * the sugar mixture can burn easily, so please be very careful and as soon as it turns goldish, it's ready for the next step.

(Photos by exPress-o. Layout by Ana Degenaar - Blog Milk for exPress-o. Thank you Ana for your help with this series).

49 comments:

SreeBindu said...

incredibly indulging =)
http://sreebindu.blogspot.in/

Tanvi said...

I LOVE Caramel too. This looks delicious! Next time your Dad brings some, please share ;)

∞ © tanvii.com ∞

Diana Mieczan said...

Deal, Tanvi:)

Anonymous said...

I always wanted to make caramel but it always looked too complicated. Your recipe sounds really easy. Going to try this week. Thank you. Jill

ElsaD said...

Wow...Delish darling! xoxo

Melissa Blake said...

YES!! Caramels are my weakness this summer!! This recipe looks perfect!

Christianna said...

Yummy x 1,000!

Liesl said...

There is something oh so delightful about the salt sweet combination, love this! Hope you are having a great start to the week, Diana! :)

Liesl said...

There is something oh so delightful about the salt sweet combination, love this! Hope you are having a great start to the week, Diana! :)

Liesl said...

There is something oh so delightful about the salt sweet combination, love this! Hope you are having a great start to the week, Diana! :)

HiLLjO said...

LOVE salt+caramel!

And salt+dark chocolate!

Diana Mieczan said...

Fantastic, Jill:) Yay!

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww..you are so sweet, Christianna:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Very true, Liesl! I love that combo as well. The salt really brings out the sweetnest of the caramel.

Inés said...

Diana, you know, I'm an argentinian girl, and my heart will always be close to milk caramel, caramel tofees, caramel tea...I love "dulce de leche" and everything in between!!!

BIG HUGS!

Inés
SimplyClassyMe.blogspot.com

Patricia Villamil said...

this is irrestible. I really can't wait to make it this weekend. Awesome inspiration, thanks!

Marusa said...

Mmm this does look delicious, but there's also a great recipe for hard caramels, that I find just the beeest candy ever created:D : you have to mix 500grams of sugar with 1 liter of milk and than just stir for about an hour (yes, i know thats the part that sucks:), but on the upside you don't have to use many ingridients). When it starts to thicken its done and you transfer it to the nearest cutting board and cut it :)

Chapstick Fanatic said...

ooh yum! i am going to try this.

http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

Diana Mieczan said...

YUM, Inés:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww..glad that you like it, Patricia:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Marusa, thanks for that. I am so trying it. Brilliant:)

Anonymous said...

i made this last week and it never firmed up, but it is a yummy sauce. what do you think went wrong??
katie

Diana Mieczan said...

Katie, oh no! I am not sure what could go wrong but maybe the heavy cream wasnt right. What type of cream did you use?

Anonymous said...

I tried this today and it was absolutely gorgeous! It did take me two tries (I burned the first batch...lol) I would recommend adding to the directions that the sugar mixture burns easily, and that it needs to come off the heat as soon as it turns yellow/gold- not too golden.

Thanks for the share! These are DEFINITELY going into my neighbor gift baskets this year! :)

Diana Mieczan said...

Anonymous, oh I am so glad that you liked it and great tip on the sugar mixture. I am going to add that info right away to the recipe steps. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this delicious recipe I added rum flavor instead of vanilla in one of my batches and it was so good both batches were amazing I got so many compliments and I told them where I got the recipe so thank you so much!

Diana Mieczan said...

Anonymous, thank you for your sweet note! I am so happy that you liked the recipe and what a fantastic idea to add rum flavor. I am going to try it now too. Your comment made my day!

LamerGamer said...

AMAZING - I've now made 4 batches and learned that making a double batch is not a great idea. The candy thermometer makes a world of difference. And I watched a video online that showed just leaving the pan (without stirring) once all the ingredients are together - until it comes to 248. Do you do that? And I keep having problems with the caramel sticking to the wax paper - it looks like you may use parchment paper (from the photo)?
Thank you again for this yummy amazing recipe!

Diana Mieczan said...

LamerGamer, yes, I usually go with parchment paper but you can also use regular baking paper as long as you brush it with a bit of oil or butter. Also, thermometer is a good idea. I rarely use it (I just go for the feel of it) but I bet it can make the process easier:) Btw: I am so happy that you like the recipe! That is truly fantastic:) xoxo

LamerGamer said...

Thanks Diana - do you brush the parchment paper with oil/butter?

LamerGamer said...

Diana and Anonymous (22): I did that, too - and did some research. The reason it didn't firm up is it didn't get to the right temperature (thus the very specific 248 degrees). I re-heated my caramel sauce, got it to 248 and VOILA! All good...

Diana Mieczan said...

LamerGamer, yes I use a bit of butter for the p.paper as well. Also, so happy that it all worked out:) Enjoy it and have a beautiful week:) xoxo

Anonymous said...

Will these melt if sent in the mail?

Diana Mieczan said...

Anonymous, they shouldn't melt but they will get soft for sure. Hope that helps.

Ps: for sending I would recommend making crumbly toffee: http://diana212m.blogspot.com/2012/11/express-o-originals-crumbly-toffee.html

It's as delicious!

Danielle Harry said...

Will this work if I use 5 tbs. of margarine instead of butter?

Diana Mieczan said...

Danielle, I am not sure. I always use butter for it but I think it could work. Hope that helps:)

Anonymous said...

I made these today, put in the fridge while hot for a couple of hours and now I have toffee instead of caramel. Any suggestions on I may have done wrong. I heated the mixture to the right temp so Im not sure what I did wrong.

Diana Mieczan said...

Anonymous, it shouldn't go to the fridge while very hot. Maybe that is what went wrong. Hope that helps.

Joy said...

Is it white sugar or brown sugar?

Andrea Brown said...

I have made this twice now -- fabulous taste but both times the caramel stuff to the wax paper even with veggie oil on it!! Should I use parchment paper instead. Soo disappointed that we couldn't eat two batches of this!

Andrea Brown said...

Sorry...it "stuck" to the wax paper!

Diana Mieczan said...

Joy, I use brown sugar but you can use white as well.

Diana Mieczan said...

Andrea, yup! Parchment paper will work much better for sure.

Anonymous said...

I just made this I don't have a candy therm. but I just timed it for about 11 min. I also used white sugar instead, I didn't realize I was supposed to use brown sugar. I was wondering why it was so light in color. Either way it tasted great. I used this recipe to fill up semi hollowed out apples so I hope they turn out! Thank for the recipe.

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww..fantastic, Anonymous! My pleasure:)

CHB Reference said...

Ohhhh... I didn't realize I was supposed to use BROWN sugar, either! We cooked and cooked and cooked, and finally got to correct temp. It was a very golden color -- and turned into a hard candy slab within an hour of pouring it (and without refrigerating!) It is great though - like nibs candy. We chopped and wrapped in pieces of parchment twisted at the ends. I think we cooked too long maybe?

Diana Mieczan said...

CHB Reference, I think so. There is a very fine line between it being 'just right' and bit 'over-cooked'. Plus, brown sugar reacts much better to the heat. Glad you liked it:)

Anonymous said...

If you use brown sugar why don't you note that in the recipe? I was just reading the comments while my batch is getting up to temp and now I'm hoping it turns out. Also, there is no way you made this in 20 min. Your comments are misleading.

Diana Mieczan said...

Anonymous, you can use any sugar you wish. It should work with all types that is why I said 'sugar' in the recipe. Also, it really shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. Hope that helps:)

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