Sunday, October 18, 2015

ABC - Homemade Salted Caramels

Although this September post for the Avid Baker's Challenge project is late, it is absolutely delicious and worth the wait. I love caramel candies, especially homemade ones. We had two options: salted caramels or pumpkin spiced salted caramels. I opted for the "plain" ones but then at the last minute decided to add mini chocolate chips for a speckled effect.

I really love pumpkin spice, so I made a quick mixture of cinnamon, ginger and cloves (a tiny pinch each) and then rolled small pieces of leftover caramel (from scraping the pan) in it. Mmmmm, that was wonderful!! Will definitely try that sometime.

Chocolate chip salted caramels


If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

This recipe was similar to my favorite caramel recipe, only the amounts were about half as much, resulting in slightly thinner caramels.

I didn't deviate much from the ABC recipe. Instead of honey, I used Lyle's golden syrup. I reduced the butter by half the amount and omitted the Maldon salt on top.

Making caramels is pretty straight forward but you need to take some precautions:

  • I like to spray the inside of my pan with an oil-based baking spray to avoid sugary crystals landing into my sugar mixture.
  • You also need a candy thermometer.
  • Make sure you use low-medium heat to dissolve the sugar completely before bringing the mixture to a boil.
  • Whatever you do, make sure you devote your attention to the cooking sugar mixture. It changes temperature constantly and before you know you either have caramel brittle, or worse yet, burnt caramel.


Very happy to have found 40% fat heavy cream. It reminds me of European heavy cream which has a higher fat content than the typical American heavy cream.

Early stages of boiling sugar mixture.

Almost ready. It reached 246 F. I like to cook my caramel to 248 F.
When the mixture reached the desired temperature, I added the cold butter and vanilla extract. I stirred the mixture really well until everything was incorporated. Then I added the mini chocolate chips. I think the order of this is very importing. Had I added the chocolate first, it would have melted completely, rendering these chocolate caramel candies (delicious nevertheless, I'm sure).

I used my 8" x 8" Pyrex plan, lined with parchment paper.



One instance you don't want to lick the spoon because the caramel is VERY HOT.


Trust me, your patience will be rewarded. I used this blob of caramel to roll it in my pumpkin spice mixture (dash of cinnamon, ginger and cloves) and it was absolutely wonderful. Will definitely consider that flavor combination in the future.

It was fairly cool in my basement, so after a couple hours, it was firm enough to cut.


I like them in these tiny paper cups (also because it's less work than individual wax paper wraps)
I made these caramels before dinner (big mistake). Because of all the munching I did, I wasn't even hungry to eat "real food". That's when I realized I need to get these out of the house. I packed them up so I can take them with me to work the next day. Everybody loved them and thanked me bunches (so did my thighs!).

Caramel candies ready for work. Bon Appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:

  • These caramel candies were very good. The chocolate flavor from the mini chocolate chips came through without overpowering the caramel flavor. The salt amount in the recipe was just recipe. I'm glad I didn't add more salt because it didn't need it at all.
  • Texture wise these caramels were a bit softer than what I'm used. On day 1 they were chewy as well. However, on day 2 they started to lose the chewiness. They remained soft though. Another observation was that on day 2 the top was no longer glossy. They reminded me of fudge candy. Not sure what happened there, maybe some (partial) crystallization took place.
  • Changes: instead of honey, I used Lyle's golden syrup. I reduced the butter by half the amount and omitted the Maldon salt on top.
  • The recipe can be found HERE.
  • Don't forget to check out the other ABC bakers.

3 comments:

  1. They look very pretty in their little paper cups. I'm no great candy fan, therefore I skipped the caramels. I hope that I will be able to post the apple cake before October is over. I'm always faster with baking than with posting :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Karin! I hope you do because your apple cake looked great. I've extended the linky tool to Oct 31st :)

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    2. Taxes are done, and a book review I had to write, too - so there is hope :)

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