I’ve decided to share my simply Homemade Alternatives to Store-bought products with you all, as often as possible and first on the list was the homemade caramels. Homemade Caramels..they’ve been on my mind for way too long and I simply had to make them. If you’ve never made caramel before, don’t be afraid, it’s actually really easy. You just need few ingredients, a large sauce pan and a loaf pan. Candy thermometer isn’t required, but it’s certainly very handy! This is an easy recipe to whip up and makes a bunch of soft chewy caramels. Not hard toffee.
Adapted from Inspired Taste
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (36-40% butterfat content)
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon course or flaked sea salt
1. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Allow parchment to rise up the sides rather than just lining the bottom of the sheet.
2. Cut butter into 8 pieces then combine with heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until hot and butter has melted. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan combine the water and corn syrup. Then, add the sugar.
Remember to pour sugar in center of pan, and if any sugar crystals stick to the side of your pan, brush them down with a damp pastry brush. Now, use a spoon to gently stir the sugar into the water and corn syrup, just moistening the sugar.
4. Cook and stir on medium high heat until boiling, then clip your candy thermometer to the side of pan. Do not allow the thermometer to touch the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium or a temperature which allows for a steady, moderate boil. Stir often.
5. After 5-10 min sugar reaches a temperature of 320 degrees, carefully pour about a sixth of the butter and cream mixture then stir, using the base of the candy thermometer to incorporate it. Repeat with the remaining cream and butter (adding a sixth of it at a time then stirring).
6. The sugar will bubble violently as you add the butter and cream – so do this carefully and slowly to prevent the mixture from bubbling over the sides of the saucepan. By adding the cream and butter, the temperature will drop.
7. Now, continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the caramel reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F. This will create a soft caramel. Pour the caramel into your prepared loaf pan – use caution! This is a very hot mixture.
8. Cool 20 to 30 minutes then scatter the salt over the caramel and let the caramel cool 3 1/2 hours.
9. Unmold the caramel. If the caramel is too soft to work with, place into the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes to firm up. Then, use a large sharp knife to cut into your desired shape.
10. Wrap caramels in plastic wrap or waxed paper and enjoy immediately, or you can refrigerate or freeze for enjoying later.
Makes about 35-40 1-inch by 1/2-inch rectangles.