Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Salted Caramel Recipe

Yields 64 bonbons / 10 grams each / 1x1 inch (2.5cm) square /1/2 inch (1.25cm) thick.

These make some of the best gifts ever, whether the event is Christmas, a birthday, or a thank you for a favor. Making caramel requires your undivided attention; once you begin you should never walk away. Prepare all of your tools and equipment in advance, including cake pan lined with oiled parchment and tools you’ll need. Better keep children out while dealing with hot caramel.

0.65 cup (160ml) heavy cream
1 ea. vanilla bean, scrap out seeds and save pod or 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract
1.2 lb (500g) powdered sugar or granulated (powdered sugar is more pure)
5 ounces (160g) European style salted butter (highest quality available)
1 tsp (4g) fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes.

Heat up heavy cream with vanilla seeds and pod. Cover and let them infuse. Cube butter and set aside along with the salt. Line a 8x8 inch (20cm) cake pan or similar. For the caramel a sec (without water), cook one-third of sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium high heat. When it begins to melt, stir with a spatula or a whisk every so often until it turns into amber color. Repeat this step with remaining sugar and continue cooking until the caramel turns into deep amber color and shows no more lumps, reduce the heat – The candy thermometer should now read 345ºF (175ºC) and begin smoking; you don't want to wait too much longer or it will get bitter. Turn off the burner. Pass the hot vanilla infused heavy cream through a sieve to deglaze the caramel. Press down the vanilla bean with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible. Turn the heat back on, and cook until thermometer reads 250ºF (120ºC). Turn off the heat and add the cubed butter and salt. Stir up mixture until completely smooth.
Pour the caramel out into the oiled parchment lined pan and thump it against the counter a few times to get the air bubbles out. Then, allow it to sit, undisturbed for at least 2 hours (overnight is best). When the caramels have set, cover top with wax paper in contact and lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and flip onto a cutting board. Remove parchments. With a very sharp knife, cut the caramel block in half, then each half in 4 strips. Divide the 8 strips into 8 candies (8x8=64) leaving space between each piece otherwise caramels will reconnect from each other. Sprinkle some fleur de sel if the caramels are served the same day or wrap them without salt; it will melt. Cut squares of wax paper a little longer than your caramels; 3.5x3.5 inch (9x9cm). Wrap each caramel in wax paper and twist the ends closed. Caramels will keep at room temperature for about two weeks but they wont last that long with children around!..

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