that time of year

i have loved the combination of chocolate and salt since my first bite of Recchiuti's fleur de sel caramels and finally found a recipe that comes close to that heavenly taste. i found it in the december 2006 issue of gourmet and it is now a gift i like to give for Christmas every year. don't be intimidated by candy making! just be careful and have fun. i'll be making holiday gifts all week so check back in to see what other things you might find under the tree.

Salty Chocolate Caramels

2 cups heavy cream
10.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
flaky sea salt, such as Maldon for garnish
line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. bring cream to a boil over medium high heat. add chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. bring sugar, corn syrup, water and salt to a boil in a heavy pan over medium high heat. boil for 10 minutes without stirring until deep golden brown. carefully add chocolate mixture - it will bubble and steam. continue to boil, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes until mixture reaches 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour immediately into prepared pan and let cool 10 minutes. sprinkle generously with sea salt and cool completely on a rack for about 2 hours.
carefully invert onto a clean cutting board and peel parchment off the bottom. lightly oil the blade of a knife and cut into 1-inch squares. wrap in squares of wax paper and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Lara Ferroni said...

These look fantastic, but I've had a bit of trouble getting the heat quite right. My first go tasted great, but I think I didn't let the sugar get golden enough, so the texture was more of a slightly thick ganache. On subsequent tries, the sugar overcooked or the sugar/chocolate mixture overcooked, and I ended up with burnt tasting candies. Two of the times, it was because I stupidly walked away from the boiling sugar... but the third time, the sugar seemed perfect but I could never get the combination sugar/chocolate mixture to reach 245F and I think the chocolate somehow burned in the process. Maybe my candy thermometer is broken, but I thought I'd verify... what is the temp of the sugar when it becomes deep golden brown, and about how high of heat do you use after you add the chocolate?


the purcells said...

check out this link to reviews of the original recipe for more information on temp:
letting the sugar get deep golden the first time is a little scary but so necessary. according to the discussion, the final temp is between 245-255 degrees F and depends a lot on variables like humidity and altitude. the final product is a rather soft caramel caramel compared to store bought but should be more solid than thick ganache. good luck!

Lara Ferroni said...

Cool. Thanks!

We certainly have a bunch of humidity (I'm in Seattle) but not so much on the altitude. My chocolate mixture only made it to about 235F according to my thermometer, but the texture seemed fine (just burnt tasting). Sounds like I need a new candy thermometer.


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