December 16, 2010

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels

Okay I know I post more recipes than anything else but lately I've had all the time in the world to bake and make all sorts of yummy confections. Today it's candy! This was my first attempt at candy-making so luckily this was an easy recipe. It takes ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge and a candy thermometer.  I substituted the fleur de sel for fine grain sea salt and it was fine. Also, when it comes to combining the mixtures be extra careful, it does bubble up a lot and the steam from it is very strong! Have someone help you out to be safe. I wrapped mine individually in wax paper for easy eating:)  Enjoy!

{Recipe via Annie's Eats}
Yield: 64 caramels
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1¼ tsp. fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.  Lightly butter the parchment.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and fleur de sel.  Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.
Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly.  Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248˚ F on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with additional fleur de sel.  Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled.  Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well).  Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.

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