So, quick off the top, the recipe I'm using, and then I'll tell you how I got to that recipe.
UPDATE: Yeah, it came out saucy. Very thick sauce, but, yeah. So, I'm updating the recipe below.
Tools & Ingredients
- 3+ quart sauce pan
- a wide mouthed, lidded container that can hold a volume of 2c.
9" square baking pan wax or parchment paper to line baking pan between 81 and 162 – 2" square pieces of wax paper, for wrapping candies (depending on cut size)
- Stirring device (Whisk or spoon)
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 5 tbsp butter (salted), chopped
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Line baking pan with paper, set aside
- Combine cream, sugar, and salt in your sauce pan.
- Turn heat on to a medium-low flame.
- Stir - gently - until the mixture turns a tan, light caramel color
- Add butter and stir until mixed.
- When mixture reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat
- Whisk in vanilla extract (no whisk? stir vigorously)
- Pour into
prepared baking panstorage container. Tap pan on counter a couple times to make sure all air bubbles have risen to the surface
- Let cool to room temperature on counter
- Finish chilling in refrigerator
When firm, cut into either 1" square or 1/2" by 1" bars and wrap in wax paper squares
DisambiguationSo, how did I arrive at the above recipe? I read a lot of other people's recipes. Why did I go my own way, especially right out of the gate? I read a lot of other people's recipes.
Common themes I found included:
- the less cream used, the thicker the expected outcome
- anywhere from a 1:2 to a 4:3 ratio of cream:sugar was expected to produce a somewhat firm caramel
- from a 4:3 to a 2:1 ratio of cream:sugar was expected to produce a caramel sauce that might or might not need to be heated to achieve a pourable viscosity
- cream, butter and sugar were the only ingredients that every recipe I saw used
- the type of cream varied, with some recipes calling for evaporated milk, others for half and half, and the rest for some level of whipping cream
- the darker you let the caramel boil up to, the harder the finished candy will be
- candy thermometers are supposed to be really helpful
- to stir or not to stir
- to use salt or not
- to use corn syrup or not
- melt the sugar first or cook everything up all at once
- one pot or two (for melting sugar and preheating cream)
I do plan to try out some simple variations later, and I'll likely record those here when I do.
I also chose to go to a lighter color because I like soft caramels, and I was afraid of burning the mixture.
If you try this recipe out, please do let me know how it works for you!