This caramel candy is as close to pure caramel flavor as you can get. It’s slightly firm with a smooth texture. To serve them, I like to wrap each piece individually in clear waxed paper and place them in a shallow bowl. To get the full caramel experience, I suggest placing a piece in your mouth and letting it melt some before chewing.
Special equipment: Candy thermometer and 1 (8-inch) square baking pan
Photographs by Alexandra Defurio fromCaramel by Carole Bloom, reprinted with permission by Gibbs Smith.
- Nonstick baking spray
- 11⁄2 cups (10 ounces) granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 cup light corn syrup
- 11⁄2 tablespoons (3⁄4 ounce) unsalted butter, softened
- 11⁄2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1⁄8 teaspoon kosher or fine-grained sea salt
- 11⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil
- Line the baking pan with aluminum foil, letting it extend over the edges. Spray the foil with nonstick baking spray.
- In a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Brush around the inside of the pan with a damp pastry brush at the point where the sugar syrup meets the sides of the pan.
- Do this twice during the cooking process to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
- Place the candy thermometer in the pan, increase the heat to medium high, and cook the mixture, without stirring, until it registers 305˚ F, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter, keeping the mixture boiling.
- When checking the temperature with your candy thermometer, make sure you hold it straight up and down and that the bottom of the thermometer is in the mixture, not sitting on the bottom of the pan.
- In a 1-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Slowly add the cream to the caramel mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture registers 250˚ F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes then stir in the salt and vanilla. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours to set up.
- Coat a cutting board and the blade of a large chef’s knife with the oil. Lift the caramel from the pan by holding the aluminum foil. Carefully peel the foil away from the caramel and place it on the cutting board. Cut the caramel into 8 (1-inch) strips then cut each strip into 8 pieces. Serve the candies at room temperature.