I’ve recently become totally and utterly hooked on salted caramel. The Fleur de Sel caramel candies from Trader Joes… the salted caramel ice cream from BiRite (if you ever come to San Francisco, a stop at BiRite in the Mission is MUST – life changing I tell you). This girl can’t get enough!
Then, I came upon a recipe for homemade Fleur de Sel Caramels – from the Barefoot Contessa no less (god I love her) – and I am DYING to try these on my own…
Fleur de Sel Caramels (Makes 16 Caramels)
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide x 4½ inches deep), combine ¼ cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don’t stir – just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!
In the meantime, in a small pan, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is a warm golden color, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful – it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it’s hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
When the caramels are cold, pry 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 up tightly into an 8-inch-long log. Repeat with the second piece. Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends, and cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut glassine or parchment papers into 4 x 5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.