So I have never tried making caramel chocolates before, but I thought this would be a fun challenge. It was a bit fiddly as I don’t own a candy thermometer, but the results are pretty nice and I think I will be using this recipe again!
J and I love the pink himalaya sea salt chocolate caramels from Purdys in Canada. This recipe, while not quite as good as the originals, will be a good place holder when we can’t get over to Canada for the real deal!
Warning though, this made a BIG mess! This is likely a lot to do with me, but I managed to get chocolate all over the kitchen and myself. It was still fun and the results are yummy!
I have added a few of my own notes to the recipe as it is one that requires a bit of attention to get just right. Caramel can be fiddly to make and if you let it get to hot or don’t heat it enough, it doesn’t come out very nicely. You can smell pretty fast if the sugar has begun to burn and you probably will need to start fresh. Be patient and you will get there. I have made caramel before so that helped a bit.
I would also suggest that this is not a recipe that is very child friendly during the caramel making stage (although they would probably enjoy dipping the cooled caramel into the chocolate). Caramel burns can be really nasty, so it is probably best to make this recipe in a nice empty kitchen where nothing is going to knock the hot pots over!
I got the recipe from here, but I have made some changes and added notes to it. I do all the melting over the stove as I think this is better for precision baking and I don’t own a microwave (gasp!… this is actually from mild laziness and not a ‘lifestyle choice’).
Salted Caramel Chocolates:
I made this recipe into 55 squares, but you can cut the caramels into as many or as few as you want.
Each caramel in my recipe was 61 calories.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup double cream
- 3 Tbs water
- 1/4 cup golden syrup (this is supposed to be corn syrup, but I find this hard to find in the UK)
- 500g chocolate* (only require 230g)
- 2Tbs butter
- Course flaked seat salt to sprinkle over top
*The recipe required the 500g amount, but I wound up only using about 230g (I weighed the leftover). I think the excess is because it makes it easy to dip the caramels into the chocolate, but it seems like a waste to me. I would probably only use about 300g in future or plan to make the excess into other chocolates to prevent throwing it all out.
- Line a standard loaf pan with baking paper. If you butter the inside of the pan this makes it easier. You may also want to lightly oil or butter the paper where it will come in contact with the caramel as I found it very hard to remove during later steps.
- Melt butter and cream over low heat on the stove and set aside for later.
- In a small saucepan combine the golden syrup and water over a medium heat.
- Add sugar to the warm syrup being carful not to let it touch the sides. Gently stir until all of the sugar is moistened.
- Keep burner at medium heat until sugar has begun to boil.
- Cover the sugar for 1 minutes, allowing any sugar that has stuck to the side of the pan to be steamed into the liquid below.
- Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer. Cook sugar for 5-10 minutes until the temperature is 160 C/ 320 F and the mixtures takes on a light amber colour near the edge of the pan.
- I did this by eye as I don’t have a candy thermometer, but I am familiar with making caramel for a caramel corn recipe I make around Christmas (don’t worry I will do a post for this in December!). I will definitely be investing in a thermometer for the future though.
- As soon as the sugar reaches the above temperature, carefully pour in the butter and cream about one sixth at a time. The caramel with bubble and hiss a lot here, so be careful! Mix lightly with the thermometer and continue this step until all butter is incorporated.
- Continue heating for another 5-10 minutes until the caramel reaches 115 C/240 F. This will produce nice soft chewy caramels.
- For a firmer caramel you can heat it 118 C/245 F. It is only a difference of 3 degrees!!! This is where a candy thermometer would be excellent. These temperatures need to be precise and I think I let mine overheat slightly so my caramels are very firm (although they still melt in the mouth after a second).
- As soon as the temperature is at 118 C, pour caramel into the lined tin and let sit for about 3 1/2 hours at room temperature (not in the fridge).
- Be careful because the pan will get very hot! Caramel can give you some nasty burns as it is made at a very high heat and it will stick to your skin if spilled!
- The caramel will be bubbly when you first pour it, but will settle.
- Once the caramel is cooled you can remove it from the pan onto a clean work surface.
- I found pealing the baking paper off a bit difficult, although I was able to get it all off in the end, just be patient.
- If the caramel is still too soft you can pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm it up. I didn’t have this problem though, it was a perfect temperture after 3 1/2 hours.
- Cut caramels into desired size with a large knife.
- At first I cut about 26 pieces, but they seamed a bit large so I halved them.
- Line two baking trays with wax paper.
- Melt 2/3 of the chocolate with the 2 Tbs of butter in a double boiler on the stove, stirring occasionally.
- Take the sauce pan off the boiler and mix in remaining chocolate.
- Use two forms to dip each caramel piece into the chocolate and then place on the wax paper.
- This was the VERY messy part. I found a lot of extra chocolate was sticking to each caramel and I had to scrape some of the excess off. I did get more of a hang of it though as I carried on.
- Note: I also tried brushing chocolate on and using my fingers to see if I got an easier result, but the forks seemed the most straight forward and prevented more mess.
- Sprinkle salt over tops of chocolate.
- Let set in the fridge.
I store these chocolates in the fridge so they don’t melt, although I would recommend taking them out into room temperture for a few minutes before eating. They can also be frozen and kept for longer times, although I don’t think that will be a problem!
They are really nice chocolates and just melt in your mouth! The salt, chocolate and caramel together is such a great combination!