Halloween is quickly approaching. It’s one of my all-time favorite holidays. Fun, silly, spooky, and filled with sweet treats. This year, I’m all about baking and candy making. Since this season seems to be all about salted caramel everything, I thought these sea salt caramels from Elizabeth LaBau’s book The Sweet Book of Candy Making would be an ideal place to start. Sweet and salty, these caramels are great for a Halloween party, trick-or-treating candy, or just for an evening alone. 🙂
And because you can’t have Halloween without a giveaway… here’s one you’ll want to tell ALL of your friends about.
Sea Salt Caramels
Excerpted from The Sweet Book of Candy Making by Elizabeth LaBau
Yield: 2 pounds 10 ounces (1176 g)
True confession time: I rarely leave these caramels unadorned. While I love the combination of salt and caramel, I think both flavors are greatly improved with the addition of dark chocolate. When I make these caramels—which is on an alarmingly regular basis—I usually can’t resist dipping them partially or completely in a coating of melted chocolate. If you want to follow my lead, leave off the final dusting of flaked sea salt until the caramels are dipped, then sprinkle that pinch of salt on top of the chocolate.
1 pound or 2 cups (470 ml) heavy cream
5½ ounces or ½ cup (154 g) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces or ½ cup (120 ml) water
1 pound 6 ounces or 2 cups (616 g) light corn syrup
14 ounces or 2 cups (392 g) granulated sugar
4 ounces or ½ cup (112 g)
Unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
Flaked sea salt, for finishing
Line a 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23-cm) pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a low boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover it with a lid to keep warm. In a 4-quart (3.6-L) saucepan, combine the water, light corn syrup, and granulated sugar. Place the pan over medium-high heat, stir until the sugar dissolves, and bring the mixture to a boil. Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it reaches 250°F (121°C). Once it reaches this temperature, add the cubed butter and the warm cream and carefully stir everything together. The mixture will bubble and splatter a great deal and the temperature will drop.
Cook the caramel, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until it reaches 245°F (118.3°C) and is a golden brown color, about 30 minutes. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan, but don’t scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the caramel set at room temperature until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Once set, remove the candy from the pan and peel off the foil from the back. Use a large sharp knife to cut the caramels into small pieces. Sprinkle the top of each piece with a pinch of flaked sea salt. Wrap each individual caramel in waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together or losing their shape.
Store Sea Salt Caramels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Create your own delicious, gorgeous, and professional-quality candies with The Sweet Book of Candy Making. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned candy maker, you will find mouthwatering recipes and expert tips to inspire you—and satisfy your sweet tooth.
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Inside, you’ll find:
—Candy-making essentials: all you need to know about equipment, ingredients, and techniques, including step-by-step lessons on pulling taffy, rolling truffles, filling peanut butter cups, and more
—More than 50 recipes for sugar candies, fondant, caramels, toffee, fudge, truffles, chocolates, marshmallows, and fruit and nut candies
—Troubleshooting tips for each type of candy
—How to perfect the classics you love, from English Toffee to Chocolate Fudge to Peanut Brittle
—Try your hand at something new: Pistachio Marzipan Squares, Passion Fruit Marshmallows, Mango-Macadamia Nut Caramels, Lemon Meringue Lollipops, and more
—Decorating techniques to show off your tasty results
Get started in your kitchen with The Sweet Book of Candy Making!