Monday, February 3, 2014

Fleur de Sel Caramels



(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Directions:

  1. Prep the pan:
  2. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.
  3. Boil the sugar:
  4. In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep), combine 1/4 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.
  5. Heat the cream:
  6. In the meantime, in a small pot, bring the cream, butter and 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  7. Finish the caramel:
  8. When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful -- it will bubble up violently.
  9. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer.
  10. Fill the pan:
  11. Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
  12. Cut the caramel:
  13. When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half.
  14. Roll it up:
  15. Starting with a long side, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log.
  16. Cut into pieces:
  17. Sprinkle the log with fleur de sel, trim the ends and cut into 8 pieces. (Start by cutting the log in half, then continue cutting each piece in half until you have 8 equal pieces.) It's easier to cut the caramels if you brush the knife with flavorless oil like corn oil.
  18. Wrap the candies:
  19. Cut glassine or parchment paper into 4-by-5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends.
  20. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.



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