Day 19: Salty Caramels

Standard

Supplies: sugar, water, light corn syrup, cream of tartar, heavy cream, soy sauce, butter, sea salt (the whole recipe will be at the end of the post), medium saucepan, parchment paper, candy thermometer, heatproof stirring utensil, 8” square baking pan, measuring cups and spoons, a kitchen scale if you have one (I don’t and it still worked).

Time: 30-40 minutes to make caramel, 4 hours to set, 45 minutes-1 hour to cut and wrap

Today was the first day for the public schools in Columbia.  That means the first day back for my mom, the veteran teacher and my brother, the new teacher.  So today I thought I’d make a little treat for them and their households.  I know my parents both love caramel, so I whipped out Alton Brown’s Salty Caramel recipe and got to work… two days ago.  I tried this recipe twice without success in the last two days and today I was ready to make it correctly.  And I did!

Start with 14.5 oz sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.  Mix them together in a medium saucepan over high heat until the sugar is dissolved.

dissolve that sugar!

Then cover the pan and let the sugar cook on high for 5 minutes.  While you’re waiting, mix 1 cup heavy cream with 2 tsp soy sauce (just trust Alton on this one) and cut  a stick of butter into 8 pieces.  You won’t use them until later, but you want them to be handy.  When you take the cover off stick a candy thermometer in the pan.  The sugar should look like this:

Let the sugar cook until it reaches 230°F and then turn the heat to medium.  Keep cooking the sugar until it gets to 300°F and swirl it a bit to break up any bubbles.  Don’t stir it though!  Don’t do it!  At this point the sugar should be about this color:

Almost time to do something different!  Once the sugar gets to 350°F remove it from the heat and let it sit for 2 minutes.  It’ll look kind of like this:

Then add the cream mixture and butter and stir to combine.  It’ll bubble up quite a bit when you add the cream, but it’ll die down pretty quickly.

Once it does die down, put it back on the heat.  If there’s some unmelted butter, continue to stir the mixture until it all melts.  Then cook the caramel until it reaches 255°F.  It’ll look like this:

Then pour the caramel into a parchment-lined baking pan.

Let it sit for 30 minutes and then sprinkle it with course sea salt.  You don’t need to press it down.  It’ll stick to the caramel as it sets up.

Yummy!

After 3 1/2 hours you’ll be ready to cut up your caramels.  Pull the parchment out of the pan and place it on a cutting board.  Use a ruler to make indentations across the square in both directions.

Then whip out your knife.  Alton uses a pizza cutter, but I don’t have one, so a knife had to do.  It was a bit sticky, but it got the job done.

Then count your caramels and cut that many squares out of parchment.  Place a caramel in the middle of each square…

and wrap it up like a hard candy with the little twists on the end.  When I did this I felt like I was Lucy in the candy factory!  There’s no way I could have kept up with that conveyor belt!

I made a simple little container out of a can and my candy was ready to be delivered.

If you plan to make these caramels I recommend you use the original recipe just to make sure everything’s perfect.  You can find the recipe here.  These are actually quite fun to make.  It might take a couple tries, but you might just get it the first time!  Just make sure you pay attention to the temperatures!  Have fun and happy candy making!

~Alie

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