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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: Soft, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth caramel candies — they’re the stuff of dreams. If you’re worried about making caramel, don’t be. I’ve made all the mistakes so you won’t have to.
I’d argue that these homemade salted caramels, despite seemingly fairly simple and quite humble, are actually one of the greatest candies known to man.
The flavor is the quintessential caramel that I love, highlighted with sea salt, which helps make the soft caramel more complex in flavor and cuts the sweetness. The texture can’t be beaten either. My homemade caramels are incredibly soft, never sticky, and the flaky salt (which is optional) gifts it the tiniest little crunch. If you prefer a chewier caramel, all you have to do is cook it for a bit longer.
Chewy homemade caramels are a lovely edible gift for holidays, housewarmings, or just because — if you can bring yourself to give these highly addictive treats away to friends.
More Recipes With Caramel
The Easiest Way To Make Caramels
The best trick to making caramels is trusting the process and paying attention to what you’re doing. Patience is key, but so is acting quickly — caramel can seem like it is taking forever to get to the texture you want and then become burnt fairly quickly.
For soft caramels, the mixture should come to 250°F (120°C) before you pour it into your prepped baking dish.
I highly recommend using an instant or candy thermometer for this recipe. If you’re looking for tips on troubleshooting caramel in general, check out my How To Make Caramel (Troubleshooting Guide & Video).
What Is The Cold Water Test When You Are Making Caramel Candies?
Again, I don’t encourage you to make this recipe without a candy thermometer, but you can use this test as a backup to make sure your thermometer is accurate.
To perform a cold water test, keep a small cup or bowl of cold water beside your oven as you are making the caramel. Then, use a spoon to take a bit of the caramel and drizzle it into the water. Test the candy with your fingers — it is ready when you are able to form a ball that is stable but also soft enough to smoosh.
What Type Of Salt Should I Use For Salted Caramel Candies?
In this recipe, you can use either kosher salt or fine sea salt for the actual caramels, and the topping should be flaky sea salt for garnish.
You want the salt to be the perfect balance for this recipe, and for that reason, I prefer to use unsalted butter while I’m making it so I can be extra sure I know how much salt is going into the caramels.
Watch The Weather When You Are Making Caramel
Sometimes, even the most skilled bakers have issues with their caramel — and yes, you can blame the weather! To achieve the perfect caramel, you need the right amount of sugar to moisture. You’d ideally make these on a cool, dry day. If it is too humid, the sugar may reabsorb the humidity in the air, which affects the texture of the caramel.
Tools You’ll Need To Make Salted Caramel Candies
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Candy thermometer
- 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish
- Parchment paper
- Small, high-sided saucepan
- Wax paper for wrapping
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Salted Caramel Candies
- The parchment paper is necessary as it will help you neatly lift the caramel out of the pan. Foil is not a good substitute as it will stick to the caramel.
- If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt to ¼ teaspoon for this recipe.
- Make sure to place the baking dish for setting the caramel on a heatproof surface, as the caramel will be very hot when you pour it into the dish.
- Do not stir the sugar and water as it is caramelizing, or you risk the sugar crystalizing — this will create a grainy caramel.
- Unlike a caramel sauce, a candy thermometer is necessary for this recipe, and it is vital to watch the temperature carefully. If it is underdone, it will never set; if it is overdone, the caramel will be too hard.
- A high-sided saucepan is vital for making these caramels because the mixture will bubble up relatively high once you add the cream.
Make More Caramel Recipes
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