This is a picture of my sunburn.
Do you love the fancy design?
That is a testament to the power of SPF 60, which I applied myself.
What does this have to do with making caramels? Nothing. I just want you to wear sunblock. It’s important. It will protect your skin, not just from UVA/UVB rays or whatever they are, but also from pain. Sunburns hurt and if you can’t reach your back with lotion then you can’t reach the sunburn with aloe.
And there’s my tip for the day. Wear sunblock because sunburns suck.
Now here are some tips for making caramels:
Start with a good, clearly marked candy thermometer, fresh ingredients and a LARGE (larger than you think you would need because it can boil over) pot that has good even heat distribution.
Make sure you have a package of wax paper candy wrappers, such as these from Country Kitchen. Trust me, nothing takes the joy out of a fresh batch of caramels like having to hand cut 120 pieces of parchment/wax paper squares!
Look at the signs of your boiling sugar, not just how long the recipe says it should take. I have had a recipe say it should take about 20 minutes of boiling to reach 248 on the candy thermometer but it took more like an hour. Your boiling sugar, when it starts to reach the proper temperature will start to get a rich, molasses-y type smell and the bubbles will be fat and pop slower.
I recommend stirring. On the few occasions when I have tried a new recipe and didn’t stir (yeah, I’m talking you Ina Garten Fleur de Sel Caramel Recipe) the recipe separated. It wasn’t pretty.
Here’s a good recipe:
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups light corn syrup
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1. Spray a jelly roll pan lightly with baking spray, wipe off excess, line with parchment paper, respray and wipe off excess. This will help you when it comes time to get your caramels out of the pan.
2. Put sugar, corn syrup, cream and butter in a LARGE stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat (about 10 minutes)
3. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often until mixture registers 250 on a candy thermometer. (please note the fat, slow popping bubbles)
4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and salt. without scraping the pot, poor into prepared pan and let stand, uncovered for about 8hrs.
5. To Cut, lift caramel out using the parchment paper. Cut into 1 inch pieces using a large oiled knife. Wrap in papers and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If you want to make Sea Salt Caramels, use sea salt in the recipe and sprinkle with sea salt before wrapping.
Or you could save yourself the trouble and order them from me!
You will want to have some caramels ready for my next post as I will be making Vanilla Bean Pound Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting!!!!