Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chocolate-Covered Caramels

Emboldened by our truffle success, we decided to make chocolate-covered caramels for Sam for Father's Day. At the crucial moment (as the caramel was already bubbling away merrily) I couldn't find my candy thermometer (!) so I had to make the caramels just by eyeing the color and using the "firm ball stage" ice-water method (!!) and they turned out perfectly anyway (!!!). I was very impressed with myself. I love caramels but I must say, chocolate-covered caramels are even better.

Here is my good, faithful, tried-and-true caramel recipe. It never fails me (although I have sometimes failed it).


2 c. light karo syrup
2 c. sugar
½ t. salt

Stir well with wooden spoon and place on medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil and add alternately but do not stop the boiling:

½ pt. (1 c.) whipping cream (unwhipped)
1 cube butter (cut in 5ths and dropped in separately)
½ c. + 1/3 c. evaporated milk

Add the above three things a little at a time. Put in a thermometer and cook to 233 degrees---this may take about half an hour. The caramel should be darkening but not too dark. You can put a small ball of caramel into ice water and then taste it to see if the chewiness is right. When caramels are done, remove pan from heat and add 1 t. vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x13 pan. Cool several hours or overnight, until caramel is set. 

For caramels, cut into squares and wrap individually in waxed paper.

For chocolate-covered caramels, dip squares into melted chocolate (make sure chocolate stays in temper while melting; that is, keep it under 88 degrees for milk chocolate or 90 degrees for dark chocolate) and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt, if desired.
The older boys helped do the dipping. They are getting really good at it!
We put a couple layers of these, sprinkled with a little sea salt, between waxed paper in a box for Sam and covered them with a sheet of tissue paper. They were every bit as good as any you'd buy at a fine chocolatier---if we do say so ourselves. :)

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