Sea Salt Caramels
I've been absent for a long time, I know, I know. But I make up for it with this sweet treat. I know sweet+salty is not for everyone, but I really can't understand how that could be. It's like one of the best combinations ever. Think of a Snickers bar: chocolate, caramel, salty peanuts. To be honest, my perfect meal is having savoury and sweet all at once, and dipping into whatever I feel like. Like a chocolate cake with fries and garlic mayo. I love me some chocolate cake, but after a while, something sweet just by itself is just too much. So in this vein, I decided to test my hand at making some candy. I've never tried making any sort of confectionery before, but I've bought myself a fancy new kitchen toy and so I wanted to use it.
The hardest part of this recipe was finding the right ingredients. It's supposed to have light corn syrup in it, but this all-American ingredient isn't exactly widely available. So after some Googling, I decided to substitute with golden syrup. It seemed acceptable enough, but now, hours later, I suspect it may be the reason the caramels haven't quite hardened. Still delicious, though.
Sea Salt Caramels (adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?)
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup - or substitute with golden syrup.. if you dare!
1 cup double cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ teaspoons sea salt, like Maldon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, making sure it's fully covered. Lightly brush the paper with vegetable oil.
In a deep saucepan, combine the sugar and syrup with ¼ cup water and bring to the boil, until it is golden brown in colour, swirling the pan from time to time.
In another saucepan, bring the cream, butter and salt to a simmer, and then set aside to cool slightly.
When the sugar and syrup mixture has turned the right colour, turn off the heat and slowly pour the cream mixture in. It can bubble up very quickly, so be careful. Stir in the vanilla extract and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until it registers 120°c or 248°f on a candy thermometer.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Let it cool down and then put it in the fridge to set for a few hours. When set, turn the caramel out onto a board and cut into small squares. Sprinkle with sea salt. Keep chilled!