Homemade Soft Caramels

I’ve been making homemade caramels this year and they’ve been pretty amazing — you have to understand: I don’t even like caramel. I dispise the stickiness of it, having it all stuck in your teeth, and the flavour is just so… Bleh!

But homemade caramel? Pretty fantastic.

I don’t even remember why I decided to make caramel one day… It might have had something to do with having a carton of cream on hand in the fridge that I really didn’t want to waste, but I can’t be sure…

In the end, it turns out I do like caramel, but with the caveate that it is homemade. I suppose that would bethe case with most things, huh? Commercially, massed produced stuff can never hold a candle against something homemade. Every. Single. Time.

The recipe I’ve been using comes from JoyofBaking.com and hasn’t failed me yet. *crossed fingers*

The original recipe, it can be found here.

Homemade Caramel
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup **
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp butter, diced

Line a 9″x9″ square baking pan with parchment paper

In a medium saucepan, stir together the cream, sugars, and corn syrup.

Heat over medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Once mixture boils, brush down sides of pan to remove any sugar crystals with a pastry brush dipped in warm water.

Use a candy thermometer, boil the mixture over medium high heat (do not stir!) until 250°F (121°C).
Swirl the pan periodically to see if the caramel is darkening faster at the bottom of the pot

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and butter.
Pour the caramel into prepared pan and let cool, undisturbed, until firm (at least two hours).

With a sharp knife, cut into desired shapes and wrap pieces, individually, in wax paper.
Store in an airtight container.

Makes a LOT of caramels.

** I use golden syrup as my liquid sugar of choice but I forgot, and subsequently just realized, that not everybody has such a thing onhand, myself included, occassionally. So what to do?

If you’re anything like me and happen to forget to replenish your stash of golden syrup after a few too many marshmallow experiments over the summer, only to find out that the day you’re wanting to make caramels because you’re housebound, cabin-fevered and stuck inside from the crazy amounts of falling snow that keeps falling even after 36hours, having a recipe for invert sugar syrup is FANTABULOUS!

Through my online research for an easily accessible substitute, lo & behold, I found this recipe that you can easily make at home: “invert sugar syrup”.

Thanks entirely to Ms.Humble from the blog Not So Humble Pie, you can click here for her recipe & simple instructions for inverting sugar to keep onhand in your fridge for whenever the mood for candymaking should strike!

Happy caramel making! ^_^

Note to be tested for future reference: The temperatures specified here are for sea level. At higher altitudes, subtract 1° F from every listed temperature for each 500 feet above sea level. Calgary’s altitude is 3,483ft and if this observation holds true, I should probably be pulling the caramel off the heat at about 243°F, which might actually explain why I’ve been having such a bad time of caramel-making as of late. Dec.29, 2013

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