Feb 21, 2008

Chocolate covered caramels

I was doing my daily food blog reading, when I saw these beautiful caramels calling out to me from Taste and Tell. I saw those perfect cubes of caramel and I thought they would be great dipped in chocolate. I intended to make these as valentine gifts for my ladies...but...life got in the way, and I didn't have time to finish them by the 14th. They also didn't turn out as pretty as I wanted. The caramels were really sticky and soft. It was hard for me to get them to stay in the square shape.

I have never made caramel before, actually, I have never made any type of candy before. It was really fun to make the caramel. I felt like I was back in high school doing a science experiment or something. The caramel was pretty simple to make. They're really delicious on their own, but it's even better covered with some dark chocolate. The recipe listed below is half the original.

Shirley’s wonderful caramels
adapted from Candymaking by Ruth Kendrick

1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 of a 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (7 oz)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
tempered dipping chocolate, if desired

1. Butter a 9x9 baking pan; set aside. In a heavy 6 quart dutch oven, combine corn syrup, condensed milk, milk, cream, butter and sugar. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a boil. If sugar crystals are present, wash down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

2. Clip on candy thermometer. Cook, stirring constantly, to 240 degrees or soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour without scraping into the prepared pan. Allow to stand at room temperature overnight. Cut into about 1 inch rectangles or squares. Wrap in waxed paper or dip in tempered chocolates. Makes 60 pieces.

3. Caramels will be less sticky and easier to cut if you resist temptation and wait 24 hours after they are cooked. A heavy, sharp knife or metal scraper does a neat job, easily and efficiently.

  • I think the next time I make these, I might line the pan with a piece of parchment paper. My caramel stuck to the pan even after I buttered it.
  • I find that if you oil your knife or metal scraper a little bit, the caramel won't stick as much.
  • The original recipe adds 1 cup of nuts with the vanilla.


Deborah said...

I think they look wonderful!! I think that mine were easier to cut into squares because I overcooked mine, and they were a bit hard. Now I want some homemade caramels again, but this time dipped in chocolate!

Anonymous said...

I make homemade caramels and cove with chocolate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt....DELISH! But if you cook the Carmel till it reaches 250 on candy thermometer it is perfect holds square shape and is still chewy. Also I find if you cool on counter for 10 min. Then stick in freezer for 5 min they are ready to cut that way you don't have to wait before you can enjoy ;).


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