Monday, January 14, 2008

Irresistible...


I remember when I was a kid and I used to go to Grandma’s or an aunt’s or uncle’s house, they would always have a box of chocolates out on the table. You know, just in case someone would come over for a visit. I couldn’t resist the caramels. And once I realized that the square ones were almost always caramels, I would spare myself the horror of biting into an orange cream centered chocolate. How I hated those creamy centered chocolates! Why couldn’t they make boxes with only caramels, wouldn’t that be easier?

Last week, I had a light bulb moment : I could make my own chocolate covered caramels. I just had to get over my fear that my cheapo candy thermometer wouldn’t register the right temperature and that the caramels would never set. So, armed with a recipe that seemed fairly easy, off I went to make some caramels. Fleur De Sel Caramels to be exact. And my cheapo thermometer came through. And my caramels tasted better than I ever thought they would!

Now that the caramel part was taken care of, I melted half dark chocolate, half milk chocolate and proceeded to dip said caramels. The toughest part was having to wait for the chocolate to set! And that was it; I had made chocolate covered caramels that tasted better than the ones I remembered as a child.

So, if life is like a box of chocolates, at least make sure you get the caramels, make them yourself! And then come back and tell me all about it!

Chocolate Covered Fleur De Sel Caramels
Adapted from Epicurious

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

For Chocolate Covered Caramels :

In a double boiler, melt the same amount of dark chocolate and milk chocolate (about 4 oz total). Remove from heat. Dip caramel pieces in chocolate. With a fork remove caramel from chocolate and tap gently on side of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet until chocolate is set. To decorate, once the first coat of chocolate is set, drizzle more melted chocolate onto the dipped caramels. Let set and enjoy!

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16 comments:

Joy said...

That looks so good! I love caramels, too, and I always pick the squares for the same reason you do! How funny.

culinography said...

Those look AMAZING!

LyB said...

Thank you both so much!

Brilynn said...

I would always dig for the caramels too, I hated orange creams, bleh!
My success with caramel making is hit or miss, mostly miss, but I want to give these a try!

LyB said...

brilynn: Apparently I'm not the only caramel addict around! Do try these, if I could make them, I'm sure you can too!

Patricia Scarpin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm so sorry for the wrong comment - I blame these magnificent caramels, they hypnotized me! :)

They look beautiful, your photos are wonderful!

LyB said...

patricia: thanks so much for your comment! I'm so glad I made these caramels, they really turned out great for a first try :)

Astrid said...

Beautiful photo of the caramels with chocolate drizzled all over them. It really jumped out at me from the various Tastespotting entries.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Awesome caramels! You're right, to get what you want, make it yourself.

LyB said...

astrid: thank you, I wasn't sure I'd chosen the right picture, first post and all!

cookie baker lynn: Not only do you get what you want, you get it the way you want :)

GWP said...

Great photos. Great food. I will definitely try the chicken curry.

Hillary said...

Those look soooooo delicious! I intend to try one one day!

bakermom said...

Your pics are beautiful. I'm a cookie baker and fail at getting my pics to look as good as my cookies. Any hints? You can see my pics at www.letsbakecookies.com.

LyB said...

Bakermom - Thank you very much for your comment! I'm not sure I'm one to give advice about photography seeing as I'm quite new to it myself! All I can say is click, click, click away! Taking lots of pictures and practicing, trying different angles and such is the only way to get better. Also, you might want to join Flickr it's a great place to get inspired and get great advice if you join groups. Have fun!

jessbcuz said...

I just read your post on caramel popcorn and food blog inspiration where you reference this posting from last year... well, I have now been inspired...by you! I love fluer de sol caramels but never thought about making my own (although I have made other caramel)... This one is getting added to my "to make" list!

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