February 11, 2009

Luscious Homemade Caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup dark rum

additional sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Thoroughly grease 2 loaf pans or one 8x8 inch baking dish. Bring cream, butter, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking occasionally to dissolve the salt, then remove from heat and set aside. Cook the rum, corn syrup, and sugar in a heavy saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture is a light golden caramel. Carefully add the cream mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until candy reaches 245 degrees(soft-ball stage). If you were to drop a bit of the mixture into a cup of cold water it should form a soft but obvious ball at this stage. The ball should be about the texture you'd want the final caramel to be. Pour into prepared pan(s) and allow to cool. Slice into 1x1 inch squares. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired.

My thoughts:
These are particularly decadent, creamy and flavorful caramels. Caramels are impressive to give but fairly easy to make, the trick is not to over cook the caramel so it becomes hard. Of course, if you do overcook it, you can just say you meant to make toffee and dip it in chocolate.