Fleur-de-sel caramels

2013-05-11 09.32.16

Lesson for our 5-year-old little girl on self control and interest rate: On the first day, she was allowed to have 2 candies. By the end of the day, if she had one left, we would give her 2 more. However, if she didn’t have anything left, there would be no more candy.

Lesson for the adults on getting a law degree: We should have clearly written in the contract that half-eaten candy does NOT count.

In the picture, on the left is her remaining candy, and on the right is the original-sized ones. We never stop learning (the adults, I mean).


Fleur-de-sel caramels

(Adapted from Use Real Butter)

1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp fleur-de-sel (optional)

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 8″x8″ baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a 3-quart sauce pan and cook over medium heat.
  3. Stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges.
  4. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.
  5. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
  6. Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more.
  7. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan, and cook, uncovered (without stirring) until the mixture reaches 305°F. This will take about 10 minutes.
  8. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the cream hot.
  9. When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks.
  10. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful.
  11. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until any thickened syrup at the bottom of the pan is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  12. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F. This will take about 20 minutes.
  13. Then cook, stirring constantly, to 260°F for soft, chewy caramels. This will take another 20 minutes. If you want firmer caramels, cook to 265°F.
  14. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel into the lined pan.
  15. When the caramel is no longer hot, but still warm, sprinkle flour-de-sel on top.
  16. Let set for about 2 hours maximum (until warm and solid), and the chop the caramels   to desirable sizes. If you let it set for too long, it’ll be a pain to chop.
  17. Lift the pan liner from the pan and invert the sheet of caramel onto a chopping board.
  18. Peel off the liner. Cut the caramels with an oiled knife.
  19. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.


Vanilla Caramels:  Add 1 tbs of vanilla extract to step 14.

Nutmeg and Vanilla Bean Caramels: Add 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the cream before you heat it, and add vanilla extract to step 14.

Cardamom Caramels: Add 1/2 teaspoon slightly crushed cardamom seeds (from about 15 cardamom pods) to the cream before heating it (beginning of step 8). Strain the cream when you add it to the caramel; discard the seeds.

Tea-infused Caramels: Add 1 tbs of tea leaves of your choice to the hot cream (after step 8). Strain the cream and discard the tea leaves.