Fleur de Sel Butter Caramels
This recipe adapts David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramels recipe to use brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup. I made two variations of this recipe for Organic Valley at the BlogHer 2010 Food Conference cocktail party and was thrilled a) that they came out b) that everyone loved 'em!
If you’re new to candy making, David’s original recipe offers lots of helpful tips. Definitely test your thermometer beforehand by boiling it in water to make sure it's accurate.
I have some butter left so get in touch if you'd want me to make any for you as a short cut to bliss. :)
Version 1 - Firmer: Used the recipe below. These were cut up and served on toothpicks with melted butter as a decadent dipping sauce.
Version 2, wrapped in wax - Very soft: I took the caramel off the stove 1 degree before instructed in step 4. These were so soft I put them in the refrigerator on the tray before cutting, then imediately wrapped in wax paper. At room temperature they become soft again.
3/4 cup Organic Valley Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, bean paste, or powder
Generous 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons total, Organic Valley salted Pasture butter*, cubed, at room temperature
*This is only made May - September but another higher fat European style butter will work.
1. Line a 9-inch square loaf pan with foil and spray the inside with cooking spray, or use a piece of foil to shape a walled 9” area in a larger pan.
2. Heat the cream with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan with the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm while you cook the syrup.
3. In a medium, heavy duty saucepan (4 quarts), fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the brown rice syrup with the sugar, and cook, stirring gently, to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Once the mixture is melted together and the sugar is evenly moistened, only stir is as necessary to keep it from getting any hot spots.
4. Cook until the syrup reaches 310ºF. (For softer caramels cook to 309ºF)
To get an accurate reading while the syrup is cooking, tilt the saucepan to make sure the bulb of the thermometer is fully submerged in the syrup, tilting the pan if necessary.
5. Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth.
6. Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260F.
7. Remove the pan from the heat, lift out the thermometer, and stir in the cubes of butter, until it’s melted and the mixture smooth.
8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and wait ten minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt evenly over the top. Set on a cool rack and let cool completely.
Once cool, lift out the foil with the caramel, peel away the foil, and slice the bar of caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles. Or, you may opt to cut the caramel in long strips to cut caramel pieces off, such as for a fun party dessert.
The caramels can be individually-wrapped in cellophane or waxed paper. Waxed paper made for candy is the best. Once cut, they DO stick together if not wrapped.
Store in an air-tight container, and they’ll keep for about one month.
Photo of the firmer caramels: