Crunchy salt and sweet, sticky caramel is quite simply a delicious combination and what a treat to make a batch at home. With care, they really are very easy to do. Wrap the caramels in clear cellophane paper for a professional looking sweet any friend or family will be more than happy to receive.
Salt plays and important part and the best salt to use is Fleur de Sel a particularly delicious salt. Can't find it , then do not worry use flakes (Maldon Salt) or any regional salt such Halen Mons, or Cornish sea salt. What you should never use is table salt, this will simply dissolve and make the caramels too salty and without any crunch.
Making a caramel involves heating sugars to a high temperature so please take care.
- 235 ml/8 fl oz cream (double cream)
- 70g/2 1/2 oz butter (cut into pieces)
- 60g/2 oz honey
- 60ml/1/4 cup water
- 200g/7 oz sugar (caster)
- 1 teaspoon salt (sea, plus extra for dusting, preferably Fleur de Sel)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
Line a 20 cm (8") square baking tin with parchment paper, brush lightly with oil.
Over a gentle heat the cream, butter and salt together in a small saucepan. Once the butter has melted remove from the heat.
Place the honey, water and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir well. Place on a high heat and bring to a rapid boil, continue to boil the mixture until it begins to turns golden then quickly remove from the heat.
Slowly pour the butter and cream mixture into the bubbling sugar. The mixture will bubble fiercely so take care. Return the pan to the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the caramel reaches 120°C. Once this temperature is reached, remove from the heat.
Add the vanilla to the caramel and stir well then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Leave to cool at room temperature, then once cool pop the dish into the refrigerator for a couple of hours to firm up. The toffee will be set but not rock hard.
Tip the slab of toffee onto a cutting board. Cut into pieces the size you like sprinkly very lightly with salt. Or roll into a sausage shape and sprinkle with salt and cut the size of caramel you prefer. I also like to cut the caramel into thick pieces and roll gently into a ball between my palms, a bit of a sticky mess but looks good when it's done.
NOTE: If the toffee has gone a little hard in the fridge, don't worry it will soften once it reaches room temperature again.