HOMEMADE SOFT/CHEWY CARAMELS

When sugar, milk and fat are combined over heat, you create the delicious candy known as caramels! Cook at a low temperature to make soft, buttery, light-coloured caramels, or cook at a high temperature for chewy, richly-coloured caramels. Experiment by adding other flavours to create something unique and share with your family and friends. Jars of wrapped caramels look lovely! :)
    
Ingredients for HOMEMADE SOFT/CHEWY CARAMELS
Yield: 1 x Tray (20cm x 20cm)
Unsalted butter
110g
Sweetened condensed milk
200g
Golden syrup
175g
White sugar
170g
Brown sugar
105g
Salt
1/4 teaspoon
Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon
     
METHOD:
1. Melt butter in a microwave-proof bowl.
2. Add sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup, white sugar, brown sugar and salt to the melted butter. Mix well.
3. Microwave on high for 6-7 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds, until caramel has reached 115°C (240°F) or forms a pliable ball when a teaspoon of the mixture is dropped into ice water.
4. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
5. Pour into a greased 20cm x 20cm dish.
6. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes (quick set) or leave overnight to set at room temperature.
7. Cut into 40 pieces (rectangular or square) and wrap individually with baking paper or cellophane. Twist to close ends. Store in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 2-3 weeks.
   
TIPS:
o Higher temp and/or longer cooking = firmer, chewier caramels.
o Lower temp and/or extra sweetened condensed milk (or cream) = softer caramels.
o Spray the cutting knife with some cooking spray if the caramels are sticking to the knife.

FLAVOUR IDEAS:

o Almond caramels – sprinkle with flaked almonds.
o Blood orange caramels – add 1/2 cup reduced blood orange juice (originally 4 cups).
o Bourbon caramels – add 2 tablespoons bourbon.
o Cardamom caramels – add 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom.
o Chocolate caramels – add 1/4 cup cream and 170g good quality milk or dark chocolate.
o Coffee caramels – add 2 tablespoons instant coffee and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
o Gingerbread caramels – replace golden syrup with molasses and add 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
o Maple caramels – replace half to all of the golden syrup with maple syrup.
o Orange caramels – add a few tablespoons of orange juice and top with finely grated orange zest.
o Salted caramels – add ½ - 1 teaspoon finely ground salt to the mixture, and then lightly sprinkle with flaked salt on top.
   
Author: Megan Radaich         
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org 
    
Learn how to make more delicious homemade gifts for Christmas with our Christmas Preserving Guide AVAILABLE HERE

Share on: