How to: Homemade Salted Caramels

I took on the project of making salted caramels the other night as I was desperately craving them, but Dean and Deluca was already closed.  Though not every piece looked perfectly beautiful, they tasted perfectly beautiful.  If you’re familiar with the process of using a candy thermometer, this isn’t too hard of a task, but is a little messy.

I used a combination of a couple of recipes I found… The first from Martha Stewart and the other from Gourmet. Below is the method/temperatures that I found worked best.

Homemade Salted Caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Line an 8×8″ glass baking dish with parchment and grease really well with butter.

Bring cream, butter and salt to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved.  Then continue boiling without stirring until the mixture is a light golden color and a candy thermometer  reaches 250 degrees.  Don’t worry how long this takes – some recipes say it takes 10 minutes and others say up to 45 minutes.  The important thing is that it reaches 250 degrees and is a light golden caramel color.

When this happens, carefully stir in the butter/cream mixture.  The caramel will bubble up, so be careful.  Stir constantly and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 248 degrees.

Then pour into the prepared baking dish and let cool at least 2 hours.  Sprinkle the top of the caramels with a generous amount of nice sea salt.  When the mixture has set, cut into pieces and wrap in parchment paper.



Filed under baking, dessert, Food, How To, Recipes

28 responses to “How to: Homemade Salted Caramels

  1. We missed you today at the filming. Hope you can particpate in the Food Bloggers Challenge this spring!

  2. Lan

    so jealous yours came out so well. my thermometer got all condensation-ized and i couldn’t read it right, i had to guess. my caramels tasted good, cold but then it would get to room temp and be too soft to handle. 😦

  3. donna

    Mmm. I’ve been looking for a recipe for these. Will bookmark and try. Just wondering if they were easy to lift out of the pan – no need to line with parchment?

  4. This does sound like a pretty good and easy recipe. I love the way they looked wrapped in parchment. I am going to make them as Christmas presents for my friends.

  5. I’ve been craving for salted caramels for a long time now, and even thought of making them at home. Thanks for your post, it came right on time! Your caramels look so beautiful! I love the wrap, is it really parchment or you used something else? Thanks!

  6. I would definitely line the pan with parchment. Mine were almost sticking in the very middle. Next time I make them, I am actually going to try using a silpat to line the pan… I am curious as to if it will work!

  7. Pingback: Chef Lisa » Blog Archive » Salted Caramels

  8. Do you know why recipes for caramels usually include corn syrup? just wondering about the science of it all?

  9. Nikki

    I followed this recipe to a tee expecting and longing for the soft, gooey caramels as a result. What I ended up with was a lovely, rock hard square of crunchy caramel that was not at all what I wanted. Needless to say, a disappointment for sure. A side note for anyone contemplating not using a parchment lining, USE the parchment lining…

  10. Hi Nikki-

    Bummer to hear you didn’t have great success. Caramels are tricky and temperamental.
    It’s really important to keep a strict watch on the temperature of the mixture. Give them another go!

  11. Nikki

    Thanks, I think I will. The day was bad to begin with so it makes sense that the caramels would fail. I am not a quitter though, so I will tackle them again and I am sure they will turn out just the way they should!

  12. Allie

    When you make caramel, you want the sugar to form beta crystals, which all go the same direction and make for a smooth and uniform product, instead of just crystalized sugar which can be grainy.
    Corn syrup has beta crystals already, and kind of encourages the caramel to form correctly. That is also why it is in a lot of fudge recipes. It isn’t necessary, but it makes it more difficult to mess up!

    Also, I’ve made this recipe several times and love it! Thank you!

  13. Kay

    Loved the recipe…dying to try it.
    Had to “Google” Fleur de Sel?
    Then realised it was just sea salt or sea salt flakes!
    Not a brand we have here in Australia. thought it was some strange additive like sorbitol or MSG!
    Happy cooking.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    Kay : )

  14. craig

    this id Ina Garten’s recipe word for word, why pass it off as yours

  15. Allene

    I just made these last night and they are DELICIOUS. This one batch made over 90 little caramels (they’re so rich they don’t have to be huge), so I have lots to give away as gifts *and* for my boyfriend and myself to enjoy too! Thanks so much for posting! 🙂

  16. I made these today and they came out great! I used agave nectar instead of corn syrup though. so easy and great little christmas presents!

  17. Kim

    Omg I tried your recipe and they were absolutely amazing! I did a little twist on them though. I only sprinkled the salt in the BOTTOM of the pan before pouring in the caramel. After they cooled I dumped the caramel onto the back side of a cookie sheet, melted about 1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips (you could use dark if you like), spread that over the caramel, then sprinkled lightly with the sea salt. Put in the fridge for a few minutes and then cut and wrap. Like I said……AMAZING! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  18. Lindsay Craft

    In the first step it is more important that the sugar is brown that the temp reading, sure thats number is correct??…or else I have a faulty thermometer. I went ahead and added the milk since my sugar was at 250, even though it wasn’t brown, and ended up with garbage. Maybe next time!

    • Me too. Ive been making caramel sauce n its perfect and it calls to go to 350 degrees not 250 which for me turned out a way better product.Im trying that next time to see if it helps..bummed,

  19. Kelly

    This recipe won’t work. 250 degrees is nowhere NEAR hot enough to turn the sugars to caramel. Nice try though.

    • Im glad you said that because im new to caramel but have done a few batches now and I feel like an idiot wasting all my stuff when I knew 250 wasnt amber enough for anything other than sugar flavor. I dont see how everyone else is saying it turned out great,cuz it doesnt at 248.At least not in my kitchen.

  20. Mumtaaz

    I found that the initial heating of the sugars had to go to about 285 before I thought it had the right color. The caramels are cooling now and they look terrific.
    I brought some salt caramels back from Normandy but, guess what? They are all gone! So I needed this recipe.

  21. Pingback: reader request: salted chocolate caramels – grits & chopsticks

  22. Pingback: reader request: salted chocolate caramels - Grits & Chopsticks

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