I had posted here I think last winter the caramel recipe I always used. When they turned out, they were awesome. When they didn't it cost about $6 bucks and caused some curse words.
I attempted two batches for our annual Holiday Bazaar at church. Both attempts failed and I was in so much pain from all the stirring, I yelled rather loudly in my kitchen "I AM DONE WITH CARAMELS".
Then I got my December issue of Food Network Magazine, and on the cover was a little picture of Ina Garten and a caption that said "Ina's Salted Caramels". I mumbled under my breath as I turned to the page and read through it. Hey. This may work. No stirring, only swirling of the pan until it was time to add the vanilla. Hmmm, a two step process where the cream mixture is added later. Oooooh, look-the temp to cook it to is 2 degrees less than my old recipe. Shazam! I have all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry. I guess one more try won't kill me.....
Holy Mother of Caramel-they are fantastic! They are darker than my old recipe, but they are soft and chewy and buttery. And I can't have any until Tuesday night at 5. My daughter was my taste tester-still in the process of 'prepping for the procedure'. And then she bakes brownies today too. Good thing I love her or her head would be wearing the brownies. Any-whoooo...
Ina~I bow down to your greatness. I have never doubted you before, and I find no indication that I would in the future.
Ina's Salted Caramels (Food Network mag and her new cookbook)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp fine fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Have all your ingredients measured out and waiting to go-mis en place is very important. Don't ask how I know...
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides. Brush the paper lightly with the oil.
In a deep saucepan (her dimensions were 6 wide, 4-1/2 deep. Mine was 7-1/2 wide, and a bit deeper), combine the 1/4 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring to boil over medium high heat until a warm golden color. Don't stir, just swirl pan occasionally. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, combine the cream, butter and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off heat and set aside. When the sugar mixture is a nice golden color, turn off heat and slowly add the cream mixture. Be careful as the it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon then turn heat back on to medium low and place candy thermometer in pan and clip to side. Cook until it registers 248 degrees. In her instructions it says about 10 minutes. I, however, do not have a commercial grade range and I live in the country so propane gas stoves do not put out BTU's like natural gas stoves, so mine took about 22 minutes. When candy reaches 248 degrees, turn off heat and pour mixture into prepared pan carefully as mixture is HOT. Place the pan in the fridge to cool and firm up.
When the caramels are cooled and firm, remove from fridge and remove the caramel from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper as handles. Cut the square in half. Roll each half up jelly-roll style starting with the long edge. Sprinkle with more fleur del sel, trim edges and cut each roll into 8 equal pieces. Cut each log in half, then cut those two halves in half, and then repeat. You will have 16 pieces. Wrap each piece in waxed paper and store in fridge.
Tasting notes: I didn't sprinkle with the salt as not everyone here enjoys salt on their treats. I also cut each log into 16 pieces as they were L-A-R-G-E pieces.
They were divine-so I was told. This will be my go-to recipe from now on.
Say Ina, can you teach me some secrets for jelly-roll cakes........