From Gourmet, October 2004. These are just wonderful. Some recommend adding a second teaspoon of fleur de sel at the very end "as the caramel is cooling so the crystals don't completely dissolve, providing the occasional salty crunch in the final product." Others recommend adding a teaspoon and a half of vanilla or a couple of tablespoons of dark rum. Or, someone suggested dipping in dark chocolate and sprinkling with fleur de sel. Very versatile. Perfect for holiday gifts. Cooking time includes two hours of cooling.
- 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 (firm ball stage).
- 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. Recommendation: use a pizza cutter to cut caramel into strips, the poultry shears to cut into individual pieces.
FOUND IT! I've loved these caramels since my first bite of some I found in a specialty shop and never believed I could actually MAKE them, never having made candy in my life. But I did, thanks to this recipe! Based on reviews I've read around the web, I cooked the sinful goodness until it reached 246F instead of 248 because I didn't want them to become too hard. But they were a little too soft this way, so I'm sticking to the recipe next time. (Which will probably be tonight. ;)) I chose to add the optional teaspoon of vanilla, used 1 1/2 teaspoons of the fleur de sel for the initial application, and opted for the additional teaspoon of the salt to top the poured mixture. This stuff is just melt-in-your-mouth delicious with a surprising combination of salty/sweet. Thank you for posting, Barbry. This went right into my ~ENCORE~ cookbook!
This is a great recipe. It makes a lot more than you think it will. I made a batch and handed them out to family and coworkers this year for Christmas. Not everyone liked the salt but I think I may have overdone the fleur de sel a bit: I sprinkled it over the caramel right after I poured it in the pan and then again, a few granuals more as I was wrapping each one individually. Ah well, they were still good and I did receive a lot of compliments (most people loved them). All-in-all, definitely worth the effort but next time I'd like to go for the French burnt sugar taste, as I think the flavor of these caramels could be enhanced a bit.
Bought the French salt at a local Williams-Sonoma, because I knew these just had to be worth it. I couldn't have been more right. I gave these as gifts in decorative tins to friends/family/neighbors for Christmas last year, and I already have requests for this season. These are classic caramels with a gourmet tendency. I've never heard so many raves about any sweet I've made as I have with this recipe. Impress your friends and try this one!!