Lot of you might not be aware about my in-laws visit to USA. Yes, they came to visit us this year and stayed with us for few months. It as nice having some company at home. Last week, they went back to India. Time flies so quickly. Recently, they came and then it was time to fly back also. So, I wanted to send them with some homemade edible gifts. Other Jam, I though why not send some chocolate caramels with them for some close family members.
Actually, I have made caramels previously also. Last year I had sent some caramels with a friend who was visiting my hometown and asked him to take some for my family. My mom and both the sisters and my brother-in-law everyone loved it. Then, I had also made them last year for a party at my house. Our friends also loved them so much so.
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe of caramels as well chocolate caramels. They make fantastic edible gifts or hostess gift. you have to be careful about the temperature you cook your caramel.
Please read all the instructions well before attempting this and also visit thekitchn’s website for more info. I would also suggest to keep your toddlers and pets away while you attempt to make caramels. You do not want any form of disturbance. I strongly recommend you buy a candy thermometer.
Recipe adapted from thekitchen
- Ingredients :
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
- 1 tsp of orange juice or lemon juice to prevent the crystallization
- 1 cup chopped chocolate for the coating
- 1/2 cup of roasted crushed nuts of your choice – I used macadamia nuts. you can use pepitas or crystallized ginger also.
Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment so that excess paper hangs over the edges. Butter the parchment and the sides of the pan with butter. Over medium heat, warm the cream, butter, and salt in the 2-quart saucepan until the butter melts. Remove from heat, but keep the pan close by. In the larger 4-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir until the sugar is evenly moistened and you form a thick grainy paste. Wipe down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush so there are no sugar crystals above the surface of the sugar mixture. Clip the instant-read thermometer to the side of the pan so that the heat sensor is immersed in the sugar. Do not stir the sugar after this point.
Place the pot with the sugar mixture over medium to medium-high heat. Let the sugar syrup come to a boil without stirring. At first, you will see small bubbles around the edge of the pan, which will eventually move inward. Around 250°F, the sugar syrup will turn transparent and boil rapidly. Around 320°F, the syrup will darken slightly and smell caramel-like. You can proceed to the next step any time after the syrup reaches 250°F and before it reaches 325°F.
Note: If your instant-read thermometer isn’t quite submerged into the sugar, you may need to tilt the pan to get an accurate reading. Simply tilt the pan by the handle until the thermometer is submerged a few inches in the sugar syrup. If the syrup hasn’t reached 250°, wipe down the sides with a pastry brush again. If it has, there’s no need.
Turn off the heat under the sugar syrup. Slowly pour the warm cream and butter mixture into the sugar syrup while whisking the sugar syrup gently. The sugar syrup will bubble up and triple in size. Stop whisking once all the milk and butter mixture has been added.
Return the pan to medium to medium-high heat. Let the caramel come to a boil without stirring. It will start off as a soft buttery yellow and eventually darken to reddish-brown caramel. Remove from heat when the caramel reaches 245°F to 250°F.
Quickly whisk the vanilla into the caramel and the orange juice or lemon juice.I have used orange to give it flavor but normally you should use lemon juice which is not used for flavor but for not letting it crystallize again. Immediately pour the caramels into the mold. Do not scrape the pan (there are sometimes hard burnt bits on the bottom). Knock the pan against the counter a few times to help air bubbles work their way out. Set the caramels somewhere out of the way to set, for at least two hours or (ideally) overnight. Once the caramels have cooled to room temperature, you can cover the pan. When the caramels have set, lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and onto a cutting board. Cut the caramels into candies with a very sharp knife. If the caramels stick to your knife, spray your knife with nonstick cooking spray. Cut squares of wax paper a little longer than your caramels. Keep them refrigerated if you wish to coat them with chocolate. It really helps a lot.
Note: The large saucepan is necessary because the sugar will bubble up and triple in size when you add the cream. Do not substitute a smaller pan.
Variations – You can make lots of different flavored caramels , cardamom, cinnamon, orange, coconut, salted, pepitas, dry fruits etc etc.
To make chocolate caramels –
Melt 1 cup of chocolate either in microwave or double boiler. Once , the chocolate is just a little warm but not too hot, we can assemble the chocolate caramels. The best way to do this is, to line parchment paper or muffin liner and with the help of a pastry brush, take a little chocolate and paint the bottom of muffin liner and then place the caramel squares and then cover the caramel with chocolate with the help of a spoon. The chocolate will seal the caramel from all the other sides and if you want to add any sorts of nuts, immediately top it off with crushed nuts of your choice.
Voila! Chocolate caramels are ready. Enjoy! And some pictures of Diwali Celebration which was organized by Maharashtra Tourism @ Times Square in New York.
We spent almost whole day there, but did not get a chance to see Indian bollywood actor – Ranbir Kapoor.
Finally, we had our share of falafel and came back home tired but with some memories from our country.