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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Homemade Caramels OR Caramel Sauce

I've been whipping up caramels dipped in dark and white chocolate for my brother Mike's wedding. I'll have to add some extra pictures sometime when I'm not in wedding mode, but for now here are some I made awhile ago. These are decorated with chocolate transfer sheets after dipping in chocolate.  The best part about this recipe is it also makes an absolutely delicious caramel sauce, too!  Just cook it to a lower temperature and you'e good to go.  I prefer to use brown sugar for this recipe - white sugar gives a light flavor, light brown sugar a stronger, and dark brown sugar an even richer flavor.  You can even make a half recipe if you don't want as many caramels.  Enjoy!
Caramels dipped in dark chocolate with chocolate transfer sheets on top. Yum!

Homemade Caramels OR Caramel Sauce
Makes 9" x 9" pan OR 9" x 13" pan for thinner caramels

Butter a 9" x 9" pan OR 9" x 13" pan for shorter caramels.
*Use a metal pot (not a non-stick) in this recipe.*

Put into a high-sided pot with a candy thermometer in pot:
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup whipping/heavy cream
2 cups white OR brown sugar (brown gives a richer taste)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
pinch salt

Cook over medium heat until temperature of caramel mixture is:
228-233F for caramel sauce (temperature range gives thinner or thicker sauce)
235 - 240F for caramels (temperature range gives soft caramels - too soft to dip, but nice to fill chocolate molds with up to stiffer caramels - still softer than store-bought, but hold shape.) I tend to go just to 238F for the caramels I want to dip in chocolate.

Remove from heat and IMMEDIATELY mix in:
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste OR pure vanilla extract

Cool on a wire rack until room temperature (or let cool a bit and use anytime if making caramel sauce).   Cut into squares.  Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap.  These are great cut into squares and dipped in chocolate.  Store extra caramel sauce in a jar.  Caramels keep for several weeks if wrapped well.


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