Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fleur de sel Caramels (Salted Caramels)

Some of you may be wondering what Fleur de sel is, right?  It's salt.  A fancy french finishing salt, but let me say that I just used Morton's Course Sea Salt found at my local super Wal-Mart and they tasted super fabulous.

I admit...I have never attempted to make any sort of candy before.  The reason is simple.  I'm not really all that great at baking because it is so darned precise.  So, as you can imagine candy making is even more so!  However, I really wanted to try these homemade caramels and I refuse to pay the outrageous prices people ask for them.  I do have to say though after making these caramels I do now appreciate why homemae candy is more pricey even though the ingredients aren't that expensive.  It is very time consuming and  you really can't just step away for a minute without almost having a nervous breakdown.

I used the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten's recipe for my Fleur de sel Caramels.  I saw her make these a few months ago so I looked up the recipe online.  Mine didn't come out as dark as hers did, but I'm chalking that up to the fact that I'm a newbie candy maker and I was a tad bit chicken to take the sugar mixture as far as it probably should have gone.  I didn't want it to burn.  I also used a recipe that was posted on Food Network's website that was not exactly correct.  AFTER reading the reviews I realized this, but still they came out fantastic. For the record...I'm posting the corrected recipe here.  You're welcome. :)

If you like salty/sweet....this is the recipe for you!!!

Fleur de sel Caramels


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


PREP THE PAN:  Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.

BOIL THE SUGAR:  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.

HEAT THE CREAM:  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.

FINISH THE CARAMEL:  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. 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.

FILL THE PAN:  Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

CUT THE CARAMEL:  When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half.

ROLL IT UP:  Starting with a long side, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log.

CUT INTO PIECES:  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 a little oil.

WRAP THE CANDIES:  Cut parchment paper into 4-by-5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.

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