Sea Salt Caramel Recipe
Welcome to the danger zone. These tiny caramels are addictive, I promise you cannot have just one. Topping them with flaky sea salt just makes them that much more appealing and if you go the extra mile and give them a little chocolate dip, you’re really going to be in trouble.
I, not surprisingly, have some very chef-y equipment that I use to make these. Silicone molds, a confectionary funnel, good quality chocolate (I'm a fan of Valrhona 66%), etc. If you plan to make these frequently (and after you try them you may end up doing just that), then those tools are a great investment and make my job about ten times faster and easier.
However, if you are not looking to drop a chunk of change on equipment you may use but once, then the good news is that you don’t have to; you can make these tasty delights and cut the pieces by hand.
A couple of key things to be aware of:
1. There is not a lot of honey in this recipe but honey is pretty volatile and will bubble ferociously (yes, ferociously) so you’ll need to be present and stirring away while moderating the heat. Tip: If the honey starts to go buck wild, lower the temperature.
2. For either method of molding the candy (molds or in a pan) you WILL need a candy thermometer. This is the one I have.
3. Make sure you’re using a large pot for this. I use a 3-quart saucepan and that *just* makes it. If you’re not used to working with molten candy, I’d recommend getting a larger pot for the occasion.
4. If using a funnel, stand up in a larger container like a glass pyrex liquid measuring cup, and drain it to let any excess cooking spray come off before pouring in the caramel.
5. If you use the parchment-lined pan method, make sure your pan is at least 2 inches deep. For example, I would use a 9”x9” square cake pan, that is 2 inches deep.
Once they’re all cut or unmolded, dipped or undipped, I like to wrap them in confectioner’s wax paper. It gives them a sweet old-timey sort of feel, and the wax paper is easier to twist than the clear candy wrappers. In my opinion, anyway.
So, here you go. These sea salt caramels will last for a couple of weeks individually wrapped. They are perfect for a Mother’s Day gift, a hostess gift, a special occasion treat or even a little “just because”.
Give these a shot and let me know how they turned out!
Samantha Mayfair Cakes Sea Salt Caramels
Makes about 90 1”x1” squares
16 oz cream
8 oz. sugar
3.5 oz honey
13 oz corn syrup
1.5 oz butter
3/4 tsp sea salt
Flaky sea salt (Maldon or Fleur de sel) for sprinkling at the end
For chocolate covered:
14 oz dark chocolate, divided (10.5 melted, 3.5 chopped fine for seeding method)
Lightly coat the confectioner's funnel (and parchment lined pan if you are not using molds) with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine all the ingredients into a deep pot (at least a 3 quart sauce pan) and cook on the stove on medium heat. Stir frequently to make sure sugar isn't clumping/burning on the bottom of the pot.
When the caramel has turned a medium amber color and is thick and bubbling it is almost done. Throughout the process check the temperature; when you reach 246 degrees Fahrenheit immediately remove caramel from the stove.
For the silicone molds:
Pour the caramel into the greased confectioners' funnel, scraping any out any excess left in the pot. Fill each cavity in the molds. Sprinkle flaky sea salt onto each candy. Place molds on a tray in the refrigerator for at least 45 min. Once cold and hard, remove from molds and place on a parchment lined tray. Put back in refrigerator, covered, until ready to dip or to wrap.
No confectionerary funnel:
Pour into greased, parchment-lined (parchment also greased) cookie sheet or square pan, sprinkle flaky sea salt on top, and let set in refrigerator until firm. Remove and cut into 1”x 1” square’s using chef’s knife.
If at any point caramels get too soft to cut or are hard to unmold, just pop into freezer for five minutes to firm up and resume cutting/unmolding.
When ready to dip, if so desired, melt and temper the chocolate and dip each piece. Once cool, either dipped or undipped, wrap each piece in wax paper.
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