Saturday, January 8, 2011

family favorite: fleur de sel caramels

I ♥ the Barefoot Contessa.  I have almost all of her cookbooks and I haven't made one of Ina's recipes that I didn't love.  Right before Thanksgiving I got a copy of her latest cookbook

When I get a new cookbook, I like to flip through it to look for new things I might want to try.  Her fleur de sel caramels on page 232 immediately jumped out at me.  I really wanted to make them at Christmas but I ran out of time.  So I tried them for New Years Day.  They were delcious, delightful and a hit!

You start out by simmering 1 c. cream, 5 T. butter and 1 t. fine fleur del sel [I didn't have any so I substituted kosher.  I think you could use sea salt as well.] in a small pot over medium heat.  In the larger saucepan, you combine 1½ c. sugar, ¼ c. light corn syrup and ¼ c. water...


You cook the water/sugar/corn syrup mixture over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil...


You continue to boil the mixture until it is a warm golden brown.  You don't stir the pan while boiling...just swirl.

When the sugar mixture reaches a warm golden brown color, you turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture...


Be careful not to burn yourself...I bubbles up "violently" when you pour in the cream.  Then you stir in ½ t. vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Turn the heat back on to medium-low and cook the mixture for about 10 minutes or until it reaches 248° on a candy thermometer...


Pour the caramel into an 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper and brushed lightly with vegetable oil...


After a few hours when the caramels are cold, remove the parchment paper from the pan.  Cut the square into thirds [Ina does hers in half but I like the smaller caramels].  Roll each piece of caramel tightly into a log and cut them into individual pieces...


Trim the ends and give them to your favorite kitchen helper...


...who always follows you into the kitchen in hopes you will feed him something delicious!

Cut glassine or parchement paper into 4 x 5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends...


Store in the refigerator and serve them chilled.

I bagged up a handful for a co-worker's birthday this week...


I think this is what all my teachers are getting for Valentine's Day!  I have already made 2 batches of these and we only have a few sitting in the refrigerator.  I see another batch in my plans for the weekend.  They are predicting snow for Sunday...and if it happens...they will be perfect with some hot chocolate to warm up after playing in the snow!

fleur de sel caramels
[from Ina Garner's Barefoot Contessa How easy is that? cookbook]

Vegetable oil
¼ c. water
1½ c. sugar
¼ c. light corn syrup
1 c. heavy cream
5 T. unsalted butter
1 t. fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling [I substituted kosher salt]
½ t. pure vanilla extract

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.

In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide and 4½ inches deep), combine water, sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil until the mixtuer is a warm golden brown.  Don't stir - just swirl the pan.  Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly at the end!

In the meantime, in a small pot, bring the cream, butter and 1 t. of fleur del sel to simmer over medium heat.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture.  Be careful - it will bubble up violently.  Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248° (firm ball) on a candy thermometer.  Very carefully (it is hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

When the caramels are cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board.  Cut the square into half [I did thirds].  Starting with a long side, roll one piece of caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log.  Repeat with the other piece(s).  Sprinkle both logs with fleur de sel, trim the ends and cut each log into 8 pieces.  Cut glassine or parchement paper into 4 x 5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends.  Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled. 

1 comment:

Allison said...

YUMMMO:) thanks! i can't wait to try and make them. i have to get a candy thermometer first:)