Something Sweet… Chocolate Caramels

Something Sweet… Chocolate Caramels

posted in: Candy, Dessert | 26

Salted caramels… I’m not sure what all of the rave is about. Who wants to bite down into a large chunk of salt when your supposed to be enjoying the luscious taste of something sweet and creamy! “But the salt is pink and pretty”, “it brings out the sweet flavor”, you say? PHOOEY! There’s a bit of salt incorporated into the recipe already, who wants to be bombarded with more! If I wanted something savory I’d sit down with a big bag of my favorite salt and vinegar chips!

Now onto how caramel should taste… rich, creamy and sweet. I want a caramel that’s going to melt in my mouth as I eat it. It needs to leave teeth marks if I bite in half. It shouldn’t snap like the gross ones available at the super market. It’s not to be sucked on. It’s to be chewed and chewed slowly. Its flavor needs to be complex. It shouldn’t taste like pure white sugar or burnt cookies either. It has to be the perfect balance of “browned” sugar. The bitter dark chocolate is enough to complement the sweet nature of caramel. And this is how I think caramel should be enjoyed.

6 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1 cup 35% Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups White Sugar
1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Dark Chocolate
Candy Thermometer

In one small sauce pan combine butter, creme and salt. Bring to a low boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. In another slightly larger small sauce pan combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Be cautious while pouring in ingredients, add them all to the middle of the pot. You want to be cautious that the sugar doesn’t crystallize/burn on the edges of the pot. Heat over medium high heat until sugar mixture begins to turn brown or an amber color. Do not stir the pan, you can gently swirl the pot to distribute the heat if necessary. Approx 310F. But use your senses, it should start to have a caramel-like aroma and will turn a very pretty reddish brown. Now pour your creme/butter mixture into the sugar. BE CAREFUL. It will bubble up ferociously.

Now here’s when your handy thermometer comes into play. Heat mixture, while stirring occasionally until it reaches 248F. Once it does remove from heat and pour into sprayed ice cube trays or a 9X9 pan lined with parchment paper. I used ice cube trays that had silicone bottoms allowing these to “pop” out easier. If using ice cube trays, pop these into the freezer for an hour, or if using a pan cool in the fridge for 2. Melt chocolate either in a double broiler or the microwave. I used the microwave in 20 sec instalments. Transfer chocolate to a plastic baggy and snip a corner. Drizzle on chocolate however you please! Let chocolate harden in fridge and enjoy!

26 Responses

  1. How good do they look? I reckon I could eat the whole plateful in one sitting!

  2. Yummy!
    I would make these if I had an ice cube tray :(

    • paige

      I’m sure they’ll be just as yummy from a 9×9 pan

  3. Ice cube trays–brilliant idea! Must try it…that is, if I can ever get the caramels to set properly. I’ve tried a couple of times already–unsuccessfully. One day, though…

    • paige

      It’s all about making sure it gets to 248F at least, to be safe you can even go to 250/251!! Too hot and they’ll be too hard.

  4. These look yummy! I always find that cutting up a large slab of caramel can get a bit messy and sticky, so I love your idea of using ice-cube trays – ingenious!!

  5. ohh youve stolen my heart with these! i have always wanted to make toffees but they tend to end up looking messy…these look so cute and neat and professional! I hope you dont mind me featuring this recipe on my cooking blog in the future. i will of course refer it back to you. thank you for the recipe and such lovely pictures!

  6. marie

    smart, practical and absolutely delicious looking..way to go!!!:)

  7. Laurel

    I think I’ve just found a kindred soul. Salted caramels? My sentiments EXACTLY. Makes me wonder how you feel about bacon caramels. You can probably feel the shudder from there. Oh, and using an ice cube try for a mold is brilliant. Wish I had half a dozen now. Beautiful.

  8. they look gorgeous!

  9. Those look incredible! I love caramels!

  10. Kristin Jamar

    Can the caramels be stored at room temperature once the chocolate hardens? Thanks!

    • paige

      Yes! You just have to be super careful that when you mix the cream mixture with the sugar/corn syrup mixture that it reaches 250F!

      • Kristin Jamar

        Done and done! Although I think I might have taken it a few degrees too far:( The caramels are all done and dressed up with dark chocolate on a sheet pan in my fridge…just wasn’t sure how to store them

        • paige

          A few degrees will mostly still produce a good caramel. I’ve had good luck storing them in mini cupcake liners, like what boxed chocolates come in.

  11. Christine Nelson

    Can’t wait to make these, but confused at 35% cream. Is that just light cream as opposed to heavy cream?

    • Hey! so use the highest fat content cream your local grocery store sells. Heavy cream is any cream between 35% – 38% so anything in that range will work just fine!

    • No, 35% cream is heavy cream. The percentage is the fat percentage in the cream, it’s generally labeled on the box! Anything above 33% will work though!

  12. Courtney

    These look great. What are the shelf life of these and how would you suggest to wrap them?

    • Hey Courtney. Thank you, I generally keep them out at room temp because they’re more pleasant to eat, but you could store them in the fridge for at least a month and I’d say at room temp for the same. Ive mailed them across the country before and they definitely had a 3 week shelf life then. When the milk gets heated up it becomes pasteurized this elongating it’s regular shelf life. I generally store them in a parchment lined Tupperware! Or you can individually wrap then in squares of parchment, I like to twist 2 edges to make little “bonbons”! Hope this helps!

  13. Yuuuuum these look phenomenal! Would these work if I used silicone chocolate bonbon molds?

    • paige

      Yes, I’ve used silicon molds before and they work perfectly!

  14. Paige ~ I love chocolate flavored caramels. A local candy shop used to make them, but they have gone out of business. What would your recommendations be to adapt this recipe to make the caramel have chocolate flavor? thanks!

    • paige

      Hey Sue, So I would recommend adding 3 oz of finely chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) right at the end. So you’ve added your butter and cream mixture and youve brought the caramels up to temperature, I would remove the pot from the heat and add in the chocolate, stirring until completely melted. Now you can pour into your ice cube trays!

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