Don’t let the thought of making your own salted caramels intimidate you. A few simple ingredients, a little time and attention, and you’ve got a decadent, delicious dessert that’s always a crowd pleaser. My only advice is to make these in advance- you don’t want to handle molten hot sugar once you’ve had a cocktail or two. They look great set out on a plate all together, and also wrap up well in parchment paper for a portable treat.
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Maldon sea salt for serving
- Bittersweet chocolate, optional
- Vegetable oil and parchment paper for assembly
- Line a baking pan (like a brownie pan) with parchment paper and grease it lightly with vegetable oil.
- In a deep saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and light corn syrup and heat over medium high heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar begins to caramelize and the mixture turns a rich golden brown.
- In another saucepan, heat the heavy cream and the butter with a pinch of the sea salt until melted and combined. Once the sugar mixture reaches the appropriate color, turn off the heat and add the cream mixture all at once. Be careful here- the mixture will bubble up rapidly and its easy to burn yourself.
- Add the vanilla extract and stir everything with your wooden spoon to combine. Heat over medium low heat for 10 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, it should register around 200 degrees.
- Pour the caramel into the prepared pan, sprinkle with the sea salt while hot (if not coating with the chocolate), then allow to set in the refrigerator until hardened. Cut into cubes to serve.
- If coating the caramels with chocolate, wait until they’re firm, then cut into cubes. Put the caramels on a grate set over a sheet pan. Melt the chocolate, then slowly spoon it over each caramel, making sure to coat all sides. sprinkle with sea salt while the chocolate is warm, and let cool to set.
Recipe inspired by Barefoot Contessa.