If you’re a regular reader of this blog, duh…of course you are, you might think I have a little fixation on caramel. Just a little one. I mean, there’s recipes for ginger caramel sauce, sea salt caramels, salted chocolate caramels, salted chocolate caramel squares cake and more recently a Mexican chocolate caramel sauce. You know, now that I see that in writing…I believe that I may have a bit of a problem. I suppose if that’s the worst of my problems I’m doing okay. Besides, I’m a recipe developer and food blogger so that should be just about enough to justify my need to play with hot sugar, butter and cream don’t you think?
Of course my friends, who start begging for these caramels in September, help feed this little caramel fetish of mine. I started making the sea salt caramels first. Those were good, but I quickly realized that they needed something more. So then I started dipping them in dark or bittersweet chocolate and dusting them with sea salt (you just gotta love nice salted chocolate caramels with that crunchy salt contrasting with the melty chocolate and creamy chewy caramel). Everyone really liked these and begged for the chocolate caramels more than the regular ones (I think that was to be expected since people really like their chocolate candies.).
This year I decided to put the chocolate and the salt inside the caramel. No, this does not involve some kind of molecular gastronomy trick. Truth be told…I just got lazy and a little too pressed for time to go through the whole chocolate dipping process and do it right. How could people not like these chocolate caramels? They still have all the same ingredients and now they’re in a much neater package (no more tell tale signs of chocolate crumbs). And the best part is that they’re still salted chocolate caramels. Just this time the salt and the chocolate are all mixed together to make one big happy piece of yummy candy.
Making these was a bit less ‘violent’ than making the standard caramels too. I found that when I added the chocolate and cream mixture to the hot sugar, it didn’t bubble and spit quite as violently as it does when I just add the plain cream mixture.
If you like Tootsie Rolls, you’re going to LOVE these chocolate candies. They really taste like a gourmet version of that childhood favorite.
P.S. If you’ve made my salted chocolate caramels recipe before, you’ll find that this one is pretty much identical as far as the ingredients go. You’ll also see the directions are pretty much the same except you won’t be melting and dipping the caramels, the chocolate and salt go right into the cream mixture that’s on the stove.
In the name of science (If you didn’t already know this about me…I am a total geek), and public service, I feel I need to pass along this very important scientific finding. Are you ready? You probably should sit down, because this might just blow your mind (pun sort of intended). Consumption of alcohol may cause you to have unsafe sex. (Shock and awe…I know!) Mind you, I am NOT making this up. These findings came as a result of some very scientific research.
Of course, when I read that headline, I thought it was going to talk about how when people are drunk they have sex in strange/unsafe places. Or do unsafe things while having sex. You know, like having sex in a tire swing or making meth while they are doing the nasty. But no, the researchers simply found that people tend to not use condoms when they’re drunk. DUH!
Hey, here’s another newsflash for everyone. I conducted some research too. Mind you, I didn’t have a grant for doing this (damn, had I known I could have been paid to discuss my sex findings…I wouldn’t have had to gone to grad school and started a food blog…hindsight HUH?). Oh, that finding I told you about. Here it is: drinking alcohol could cause you an uncontrollable desire to chew your arm off, the morning after, when you see the weirdo laying on it (rather than wake them up).
Recipe: Salted Chocolate Caramels
Summary: Makes 75-85 Pieces
- 2 Cups Light Corn Syrup
- 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 Cups Whipping Cream (NOT ultra pasteurized)
- 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
- 1/2 Cup Salted Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 11.5 Ounce Package Chocolate Chips (Bittersweet or 60% Cocoa)
- 2 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
- Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and lightly coat the bottom and sides with butter.
- In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine whipping cream, evaporated milk, chocolate and vanilla. Whisk to thoroughly melt and combine the chocolate. Mixture should become hot, but DO NOT BOIL. Occasionally whisk mixture as long as it is on the heat.
- In a heavy 4 quart saucepan (over medium heat) combine corn syrup, water and sugar. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon until sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and boil for 3 minutes.
- Remove the cover and attach candy thermometer to the saucepan. Turn heat up to medium. Continue to gently boil sugar-syrup mixture until it reaches 250 degrees Farenheit. DO NOT STIR the mixture while you are bringing it up to temperature. Add the butter and hot cream and chocolate mixture-slowly. Combining these will cause some serious bubbling (don’t panic-it’s fine). Now add in the sea salt. The temperature will also drop. Bring the temperature back up to 244 degrees Farenheit. After adding the butter and milk mixture, continuously stir the mixture, until it gets to 244 degrees, (this is to make your caramels soft and chewy).
- Remove from heat and carefully pour the hot mixture into prepared pan. Do not scrape the saucepan. Gently rap the pan to remove any air bubbles.
- Let pan sit to cool for at least 12 hours.
- To cut, remove caramels from pan by lifting the foil. Place onto a cutting board. Use a large heavy knife to cut into desired piece size. (I cut mine into roughly 1 inch pieces.)
- Caramels will keep up to one month in a tightly sealed container.
Caramels must be wrapped or they will lose their shape once cut. I wrapped mine in squares of wax paper.
If you like the crunch of the sea salt you can sprinkle it on top (instead of stirring it into the mixture). Once you pour the caramel into the pan to cool, wait 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle the salt on top. if you put it on sooner than that, it will melt into the caramel. If you wait too long, it won’t stick very well and will fall off when you wrap them.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 1
Culinary tradition: USA (General)