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Salted Caramels Recipe

Indulge your sweet tooth with these homemade salted caramels. A perfect balance of sweet and salty, these treats are ideal for gifts, parties, or a cozy night in. Hard on the outside, with a soft and gooey inside, they offer a delightful surprise with every bite.

Salted Caramels Recipe
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Photos of Salted Caramels Recipe

One of the key ingredients in this recipe is corn syrup. Corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn starch. It's more dense and less sweet than regular sugar, making it perfect for candy recipes. If you don't have it at home, you can usually find it in the baking aisle at the supermarket. Additionally, ensure to buy unsalted butter, as the recipe requires additional kosher salt for the perfect balance of flavors.

Ingredients for Salted Caramels

sugar: Provides the sweetness and is the base for caramelization.

heavy cream: Gives the caramels a rich and creamy texture.

light corn syrup: Prevents sugar crystals from forming, ensuring smooth caramels.

unsalted butter: Adds richness and prevents the caramels from sticking.

kosher salt: Enhances sweetness and provides a balanced salty flavor.

vanilla extract: Gives a slight depth of flavor.

One reader, Ibrahim Lewis says:

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This salted caramels recipe is a game-changer! The caramels turned out perfectly chewy and the salt added a delightful contrast. The instructions were easy to follow, and the end result was a hit with my family. I'll definitely be making these again!

Ibrahim Lewis

Techniques Required for Making Salted Caramels

How to prepare the caramel mixture: Combine the sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a dutch oven and heat until it reaches 245 degrees F, stirring constantly.

How to line the baking pan: Place parchment paper in an 8x8-inch baking pan, ensuring that it covers the bottom and sides of the pan.

How to harden the caramels: Allow the caramel mixture to cool and harden in the baking pan for 4 to 6 hours before cutting into individual pieces.

How to cut the caramels: Use a sharp knife to cut the hardened caramel into individual pieces, and serve.

How To Make Salted Caramels

These salted caramels are the perfect combination of sweet and salty! Our caramels are easy to make and requires only a few simple ingredients.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2cupssugar
  • cupsheavy cream
  • cupslight corn syrup
  • ½cupunsalted butter
  • tspkosher salt,divided
  • 1tbspvanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

  2. Add the sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a Dutch oven with a candy thermometer attached on medium heat.

  3. Whisk well until it comes to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, whisking well until it reaches 245 degrees F.

  4. Turn off the heat, then whisk in the vanilla extract.

  5. Pour the mix into the baking pan, then sprinkle the remaining salt over the top.

  6. Let it harden for 4 to 6 hours before cutting. Serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 71.24kcal
  • Fat: 3.74g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.34g
  • Trans Fat: 0.06g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.03g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.14g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.77g
  • Sugar: 9.76g
  • Protein: 0.14g
  • Cholesterol: 12.22mg
  • Sodium: 43.05mg
  • Calcium: 4.93mg
  • Potassium: 5.42mg
  • Iron: 0.01mg
  • Vitamin A: 37.39µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.04mg

Essential Technique Tip for Perfect Salted Caramels

When making salted caramels, it's crucial to keep a close eye on the candy thermometer. The temperature of the mixture directly affects the final texture of the caramels. If it's not heated enough, the caramels will be too soft. If it's heated too much, they will turn out hard and brittle. So, make sure to remove the mixture from the heat as soon as it reaches 245 degrees F for the perfect chewy consistency.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Salted Caramels

Plan ahead: Before starting the recipe, gather all the ingredients and equipment needed to streamline the cooking process.

Use a candy thermometer: To ensure the caramel reaches the precise temperature without constant monitoring, use a candy thermometer for accuracy.

Pre-cut parchment paper: Pre-cut parchment paper to fit the baking pan in advance, making it easier to line the pan when needed.

Organize the workspace: Clear and organize the workspace before starting to minimize time spent searching for tools and ingredients.

Multi-task: While the caramel is cooling, use that time to clean up the kitchen or prepare other dishes to maximize efficiency.

Chill the caramel: Speed up the hardening process by placing the caramel in the refrigerator for a shorter setting time.

Portion before hardening: Score the caramel with a knife before it hardens completely to make cutting into individual pieces easier later on.

Label ingredients: Labeling ingredients in advance can help prevent mix-ups and save time during the cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Salted Caramels Recipe

  • sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar can be used as a healthier alternative to refined sugar, and it adds a slightly caramel-like flavor to the recipe.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free alternative to heavy cream, adding a rich and creamy texture to the caramels.

  • light corn syrup - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a natural sweetener and binding agent, providing a similar consistency to the caramels.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free alternative to butter, adding a subtle coconut flavor to the caramels.

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for kosher salt, providing a similar salty flavor to complement the sweetness of the caramels.

  • vanilla extract - Substitute with maple extract: Maple extract can be used to add a unique flavor profile to the caramels, complementing the sweetness with a hint of maple.

Presenting Homemade Salted Caramels

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the salted caramels, consider using elegant and minimalist plating to showcase the rich and indulgent nature of the caramels. A simple, sophisticated presentation will highlight the craftsmanship and quality of the dessert.

  2. Incorporate contrasting textures: Introduce a textural element to the presentation by pairing the salted caramels with a complementary component, such as a delicate tuile or a crunchy praline. The interplay of smooth, creamy caramels with a contrasting texture will add depth to the overall dining experience.

  3. Utilize artistic drizzling: Elevate the visual appeal of the dish by incorporating artistic drizzling of caramel sauce on the serving plate. This technique adds a touch of finesse and artistry to the presentation, creating a stunning visual effect that captivates the eye.

  4. Emphasize precision in portioning: Pay meticulous attention to portioning the salted caramels to ensure uniformity and precision. Each piece should be expertly cut and presented with care, reflecting a commitment to excellence in both flavor and aesthetics.

  5. Incorporate edible garnishes: Enhance the presentation by incorporating edible garnishes such as delicate flakes of sea salt or edible gold leaf. These thoughtful touches add a touch of luxury and sophistication to the dish, elevating it to a level befitting a Michelin-starred dining experience.

Essential Tools for Making Salted Caramels

  • Dutch oven: A heavy-duty pot with a tight-fitting lid, ideal for slow cooking, braising, and making soups and stews.
  • Candy thermometer: A specialized thermometer used to measure the temperature of sugar syrups, caramel, and other high-temperature confections.
  • 8x8-inch baking pan: A square baking pan suitable for making brownies, bars, and small cakes.
  • Parchment paper: A non-stick paper used for lining baking sheets and pans to prevent food from sticking.
  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential tools for accurately measuring ingredients in cooking and baking.
  • Spatula: A versatile kitchen tool used for flipping, spreading, and smoothing ingredients.
  • Knife: A sharp blade used for cutting and chopping ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: Bowls used for combining and mixing ingredients in cooking and baking.
  • Candy molds: Optional molds used for shaping and setting the caramel into desired shapes.

Storing and Freezing Homemade Salted Caramels

  • Once the salted caramels have fully set and hardened, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces using a sharp knife or scissors.
  • Place the individual caramels in an airtight container, separating each layer with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Store the container of caramels in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. They will keep well at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • If you want to store the caramels for a longer period, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 1 month. However, keep in mind that refrigeration may cause the caramels to become slightly harder and less chewy.
  • For long-term storage, you can freeze the salted caramels for up to 3 months. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  • To thaw frozen caramels, transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them defrost overnight. Once thawed, bring the caramels to room temperature before unwrapping and serving for the best texture and flavor.
  • Always ensure that the caramels are tightly sealed and stored properly to prevent them from absorbing moisture or odors from other foods, which can affect their quality and taste.

How To Reheat Leftover Salted Caramels

  • The best way to reheat leftover salted caramels is to place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them in 10-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until they reach your desired consistency. This method ensures that the caramels heat evenly and don't burn.

  • Another option is to place the caramels in a double boiler over low heat. Stir the caramels constantly until they melt and become smooth. This method takes longer than the microwave, but it allows for more control over the heating process and reduces the risk of overheating or burning the caramels.

  • If you prefer a softer, more pliable texture, you can add a small amount of heavy cream or butter to the caramels while reheating them. This will help to loosen the caramel and make it easier to work with.

  • For a quick and easy treat, you can also chop up the leftover salted caramels and sprinkle them over ice cream, brownies, or your favorite dessert. The residual heat from the other components will help to melt the caramels slightly, creating a delicious and gooey topping.

  • If you want to restore the original shape of your salted caramels, you can carefully remelt them and pour the mixture into molds or onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow the caramels to cool and set completely before cutting them into your desired shapes.

Random Fact About Salted Caramels

The process of making salted caramels involves a chemical reaction called caramelization. This occurs when sugar is heated to a high temperature, causing it to break down and develop a rich, complex flavor and a deep brown color.

Is Making Salted Caramels at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this salted caramels recipe is quite high, as the ingredients are relatively affordable and yield a large batch. The use of common pantry staples like sugar, butter, and cream makes it budget-friendly. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $10-$15, depending on the quality of ingredients. The overall verdict for this recipe would be a solid 9, considering the simplicity, versatility, and the delightful combination of sweet and salty flavors.

Are Salted Caramels Healthy or Unhealthy?

This salted caramel recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main ingredients - sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, and butter - are all high in calories, saturated fat, and added sugars. Consuming excessive amounts of these ingredients can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and other health issues. Additionally, the recipe lacks any nutritional value, as it does not include any fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or lean proteins.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar and corn syrup used, or replace them with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup
  • Use a lower-fat dairy option, such as half-and-half or evaporated milk, instead of heavy cream
  • Incorporate some healthy ingredients, such as chopped nuts or dried fruit, to add fiber, protein, and nutrients
  • Cut the caramels into smaller pieces to encourage portion control
  • Enjoy the caramels as an occasional treat rather than a regular snack

Editor's Thoughts on This Salted Caramel Recipe

The salted caramels recipe you provided is a classic and indulgent treat. The combination of sugar, cream, and butter creates a rich and creamy caramel, while the addition of salt adds a delightful contrast of flavor. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, resulting in a delicious homemade candy. This recipe is sure to impress anyone with a sweet tooth and is perfect for gifting or enjoying as a special treat.

Enhance Your Salted Caramels Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Tossed in a balsamic glaze and sprinkled with crispy bacon for a savory and tangy side dish.
Grilled Pineapple: Fresh pineapple slices caramelized on the grill, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon for a sweet and tropical accompaniment.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Whipped to perfection with garlic and chives, these mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food to pair with the rich and indulgent salted caramels.
Savory Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears wrapped in crispy bacon and roasted to perfection, adding a salty and smoky contrast to the sweet caramels.
Citrusy Mango Salsa: Fresh mango chunks mixed with zesty lime juice, cilantro, and a hint of jalapeno for a refreshing and tangy side dish to balance out the sweetness of the caramels.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Salted Caramels

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and cream creates a rich and flavorful soup that will warm you up from the inside out.
Grilled Lemon Garlic Salmon: Grilled lemon garlic salmon is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for a summer meal. The tangy flavor of the lemon and the savory taste of the garlic complement the tender, flaky salmon perfectly.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: These mango coconut popsicles are a tropical treat that is both refreshing and delicious. The sweet, juicy mango pairs perfectly with the creamy coconut milk, creating a satisfying and healthy dessert option.

Suggested Appetizers and Main Courses to Complement Salted Caramels

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory and indulgent stuffed mushrooms. The combination of earthy mushrooms, creamy cheese, and flavorful herbs will leave everyone wanting more.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with these delicious bruschetta bites. The crisp bread, tangy tomatoes, and aromatic basil come together for a burst of fresh flavors in every bite.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Creamy, indulgent, and oh-so-satisfying, this classic Italian dish is a crowd-pleaser. The tender chicken and al dente pasta are smothered in a rich, velvety Alfredo sauce, creating a comforting and luxurious meal that's perfect for any occasion.
Beef Stroganoff: Tender strips of beef, savory mushrooms, and tangy sour cream come together in this hearty and flavorful dish. Served over a bed of buttery egg noodles, this Russian-inspired main course is a comforting and satisfying option for a cozy night in.

Why trust this Salted Caramels Recipe:

This recipe for salted caramels is a tried and true classic, using only the finest ingredients to ensure a rich and indulgent flavor. The combination of sugar, heavy cream, and butter creates a luscious caramel base, while the addition of kosher salt adds a perfect balance of sweetness and savory notes. With precise instructions and the use of a candy thermometer, this recipe guarantees perfect results every time. The addition of vanilla extract provides a delightful aroma and depth of flavor. Trust in this recipe to create irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth caramels that will surely impress.

Want to discuss this salted caramels recipe further? Head over to our Baking and Desserts forum section and share your thoughts, tips, and experiences with fellow home cooks and baking enthusiasts!
FAQ:
How long do the salted caramels need to harden?
The salted caramels need to harden for 4 to 6 hours before cutting.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
Yes, you can use salted butter, but you may want to adjust the amount of additional salt you add to the recipe to avoid making the caramels too salty.
Can I substitute the light corn syrup with something else?
While it's best to use light corn syrup for the texture and consistency it provides, you can substitute it with honey or golden syrup if needed.
How should I store the salted caramels?
Store the salted caramels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. If you live in a warm climate, you may want to store them in the refrigerator to prevent them from becoming too soft.
Can I use a different size of baking pan?
You can use a different size of baking pan, but keep in mind that the thickness of the caramels will vary, and you may need to adjust the hardening time accordingly.

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