Friday, March 1, 2013

Chocolate Covered Sea Salted Caramels

Hi everybody! So, pretty recently Kat asked me to blog with her about one of our favorite subjects, food! I figured I would start with a sweet salty bang.  This V-Day I made the hubs sea salted chocolate caramels.  I had wanted to try my hand at making caramel for a while now, and finally I was bored (lol) and brave enough to attempt it!  Turns out, it’s pretty easy!  I followed the recipe I found on a wonderful food blog called Inspired Taste, it has beautiful pictures and wonderful directions!  I strayed a little bit from their recipe, so I will include my own alterations.  The caramels turned out delish.  The hubs swears they tasted better then a certain brand name San Francisco based chocolate company, but I won’t let it go to my head : )  Hope you try them! I swear, if I can do it, you can too. 
The recipe was barely adapted from Inspired Taste.


Active time: 15 min    In-active time: 3.5 hours    Prep time: 5 min

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick) I used salted
  • ½ cup of heavy cream (I know it is tempting to leave this out but the fat is important)
  • 3 tbsp of water
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup (I used a tiny bit less)
  • 1 cup sugar
Chocolate covering:
  • 1lb of dark or semi sweet chocolate chips (I would advise not using milk chocolate unless you like very sweets stuff)
  • 2 tbsp butter (makes the chocolate nice and shiny)
  • Flaked sea, or kosher salt
Tools:
  • Candy thermometer, small lidded sauce pan
How to Put It Together: 
  1. Measure out and get all your ingredients ready before you start your caramel.  
  2. Lightly oil parchment paper cut to fit a 9x5in loaf pan.  Set aside.  
  3. In microwave, melt one stick butter with ½ cup heavy cream. Transfer to measuring cup for easier pouring.  Set aside. 
  4. In sauce pan, put in 1 cup sugar, three tbsp water and ¼ cup light corn syrup.  Attach candy thermometer to the side of the pan.  Let sugar mix cook until it reaches 320 degrees F (160 C).  At this point, you are going to start noticing a light amber color around the sides of the pan, this is good.  However, it is important to pay close attention to the temp because sugar goes from beautiful to burnt in like 3.5 seconds (maybe less).  
  5. Once the sugar reaches the 320 degree mark, mix in a sixth of the heavy cream butter mixture.  It will bubble violently, so be careful! Using the candy thermometer give the mix a little stir, and then continue to add the butter and heavy cream mix in sixths, stirring after each new addition to make sure that it is all combined.  
  6. After all the butter/heavy cream is added to the sugar, start watching your candy thermometer again, the mix needs to cook for around 5 to 10 min, or more importantly until it reaches 240 degrees.  If you want a less chewy caramel then let it go to 245 degrees.  
  7. Once it reaches temp immediately remove it from the heat and pour it in to the pan you oiled and previously prepared.
  8. It may be tempting to touch it, to get a little taste, but DON’T!!! it’s super hot and burns like napalm.  Set caramel aside to let cool for about 3.5 hours.  Stick it in the fridge if it’s not cooling to your liking.  
  9. After caramel has cooled, prepare your dipping chocolate.  I melted mine in the mirco, and I didn’t really like the consistency, but it is waaay easier than doing a double boiler.  So anyhoo, melt the chips and butter together until they are nice and melty.
  10. At this point, you need to cut your caramels to size (I just did bite sized pieces), and then salt the individual pieces of caramel and dip ‘em.  Put them on another piece of parchment to set, salt the chocolate and voila!!  After the chocolate sets, you have a beautiful little piece of savory, sweet heaven.  Please enjoy.       
Love, 
Ginger