April 30, 2014

BAKING WITH BRITTANY | SEA SALT CARAMELS

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By BRITTANY LISANTI

Bikini season is coming. There, I said it. But just because you’re on a diet, doesn’t mean you have to give up sweets altogether. These sea salt caramels are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth and, as a quick bite, won’t break your calorie bank. However, they are delicious and thus highly addictive, so be careful if you’re trying to watch your waistline! The only other downfall is that these caramels are extremely temperature sensitive; sugar is a fragile ingredient in baking, and five degrees can mean the difference between a soft, chewy treat and a brittle so hard it could break your teeth. My advice? Buy an accurate candy thermometer and carefully monitor the temperature; patience is the only way to make candy successfully! But why not go out of your baking comfort zone? As the most delectable combination of salty and sweet, these caramels are well worth the effort and much “healthier” than that boring slice of cake.

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons water

¼ cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper that comes up the sides at least ½ inch. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat heavy whipping cream and butter in the microwave between 1 and 2 minutes, or until the butter is melted.

In a saucepan, mix the sugar, corn syrup and water just until combined. Heat over medium heat until the sugar comes to a boil. Cover for 1 minute.

Remove the lid and cook the sugar until a candy thermometer reads 320°F (160°C) and the color is a light amber.

Carefully add the butter and cream. The sugar will bubble violently, so it is important to pour the mixture slowly!

Cook the caramel between 5 and 10 minutes until it reaches 240°F.

Remove from heat and pour into the greased pan. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand an additional 3 to 4 hours.

Unmold the caramels from the pan. If they are too soft, place in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. Slice into individual portions, wrap with parchment or wax paper, and enjoy!

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