Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (well, to those that are celebrating it) Unfortunately Thanksgiving is not all too big in Europe, and surely (sadly) not big at all in Switzerland. Though since I do tend to work with mostly Americans there is absolutely no way to miss Thanksgiving and I absolutely love the thought of celebrating it. Not to forget the food – I can never have enough food haha! Today is another special day, in my life: it’s actually my daddy’s birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!
My dad loves caramel and especially the combination of sweet caramels with a salty hint. I decided to give it a try and make my own homemade salted caramels and gave these to my dad as one of his birthday presents. It’s always nice to receive something homemade, self-made, I believe. It shows how one cares and how much thought was being put into giving. And I love cooking and food haha – so it all kind of fit together. Salted caramels are also amazingly easy to make, barely need any ingredients and are a perfect gift. And it’s Thanksgiving: so for all those that still need something quick to make, here is the ingredients list:
– 200 ml of heavy cream
– 80g of unsalted butter
– 1 tablespoon of salt (or less if you want it less salty)
– ¼ cup of golden syrup (or corn syrup if you can get it)
– ¼ cup of warm water
– 1 fresh vanilla
– fleur de sel
– baking dish
– 2 saucepans/cooking pans
– parchment paper
– enough patience for the end
1) line the baking dish with parchment paper
2) line the parchment paper with a layer of oil (I used simple plant cooking oil) or with nonstick baking spray
3) over medium heat, warm the butter and cream until everything melts. add in the salt and stir for a minute or two
4) in another pan, combine the syrup, water and sugar. stir it well over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and a thick grainy paste has formed
5) make sure to wipe the inside sides of the pan with a wet brush (or something similar), so that no sugar crystals are above the actual sugar paste (otherwise it will burn into the pan!)
6) once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir the mixture anymore and increase the heat.
7) once the sugar mixture starts to boil, without you having stirred it, you will slowly get a smell of caramel
8) now slowly start adding the butter-cream-mixture into it
note: once the two mixtures are added together (and boil) the mixture will triple in size, hence: make sure your pan is large enough
9) keep the heat up and do not stir the mixture anymore once everything has been mixed together
now: it’s time to wait and watch
10) the caramel mixture will take a bit of time (around 15min on my side) before it starts to darken more and more. once you have reached a rich golden, light brown color, turn of the heat and mix in the fresh vanilla
11) now immediately pour the caramel sauce into the baking dish – how amazing does it smell already?
note: you can knock the filled pan against the kitchen counter (slightly!) a few times, to remove most of the bubbles from the caramel
12) let the caramel mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it slowly starts to harden
13) if you like, you can now add some fleur de sel (large grained, amazingly tasting salt) on top of the hardening caramels. it allows the salt to slightly sink into the caramel and simultaneously acts as a great decoration
the caramel takes a while to harden fully, so I would suggest cleaning the kitchen, singing to your favorite song or doing whatever. Around 2-3 hours later my homemade salted caramels were ready for final cutting
I decided to cut the caramel into smaller pieces and individually wrapped those in small pieces of parchment paper.
Note: the wrapping took forever! haha, I almost drove insane, though I do like the fact of having small portions to snack from instead of one large caramel. Isn’t it just so much more fun when you can just snack on something, on-the-go?
I quickly noticed that more caramel was staying stuck on my knife and cutting became harder with each piece. I suggest lining the knife with some oil from time to time, to make cutting less of a pain!
Unfortunately these little love-bites (haha!) are not lactose-free, which I need to look at when eating myself. I snacked on them slightly only to have my stomach get back at me a few hours later. I can assure you though, these are probably the best caramels I have eaten, ever! Not to mention, I am usually not into caramels, whatsoever.
Ready, set, cooking! Wishing you all a great day (and happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating)! I now need to hurry to work – got two important meetings already before lunch, though also absolutely looking forward to them.