I know I should have posted these before Shavuot so you could impress your hosts with homemade candy (yes, these have to be dairy), but I didn’t have much time to upload pictures and write down the recipes because I was busy wrapping 97 individual caramels. That’s right, 97…so making caramels was fun and my house smelled like a candy store (which may be better than smelling like a bakery, I’m not sure yet), but next time I’m going to invite some friends over to wrap them with me.
If you don’t have an aversion to corn syrup, use that… I do, so I replaced it with honey in one recipe and a homemade simple syrup made with cream of tartar in the other. It’s essential in the non-crystallization of the candies.
Oh, so I made two different caramel recipes on the same day. I’m sharing the actual recipes separately just to avoid confusion. They were extremely similar, but since I knew I needed more than one batch to give out to everyone for the holidays, I decided to test two. I was also curious about using honey in candies, I’ve never done that before. It turns out that the honey resulted in a slightly smokey taste, so if you like that, add honey! Those were also slightly harder than the others, so if you have braces, definitely try the second recipe.
To make this, you need a candy thermometer. They’re pretty cheap (I bought mine for three dollars) and you can get them almost anywhere. I’m actually in the market for a new one, because my probe one is breaking and I actually make a lot of candy.
Recipe 1: from David Lebovitz
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup or substitution (I used honey, you can use brown rice syrup or golden syrup)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
- Sea salt
1. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray. Set aside.
2. Heat the cream and 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan with vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and set aside.
3. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the sugar and corn syrup, stirring gently with a rubber spatula so the sugar is smooth. Once melted, stir only occasionally to make sure there are no hot-spots.
4. Cook until the sugar reaches 310 degrees
5. Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream – the mixture will bubble violently!
6. Turn the heat back on and cook to 260 degrees.
7. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the remaining butter until mixture is smooth.
8. Pour into loaf pan and let cool. After 10 minutes, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set on rack to cool completely
9. Once cool, lift the foil out of the pan, then peel it away.
10. Slice the giant caramel bar into squares. Wrap in wax paper or cellophane (otherwise they will stick).