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!