Chocolate caramels that are soft, chewy, and perfectly melt away in your mouth. Before starting to make these, get all equipment ready and ingredients measured out. This recipe has been inspired and adapted from Jacques Pépin’s book, “Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook.”
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (36-40% butterfat content)
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup (60 ml) light corn syrup
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 pound high quality chocolate, milk, dark, or white
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon course or flaked sea salt
Lightly oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan then measure and cut a piece of parchment paper that will fit inside the pan and come up the sides by at least 1 inch. Next, lightly oil the parchment paper and place into the pan. Set the pan aside.
Cut butter into 8 pieces then combine with heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until hot and butter has melted. Set aside, we will use this later.
In a small saucepan combine the water and corn syrup. Then, add the sugar, but try your best not to splatter the sugar up the sides of the pan. Now, use a spoon to gently stir the sugar into the water and corn syrup, just moistening the sugar.
Heat over medium heat until the sugar has come to a boil. Then, cover with a lid for 1 minute. This adds steam/moisture to the pan, so any sugar that may have stuck to the sides of the pan melts and falls back into the boiling sugar.
Remove lid then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Then, cook sugar for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar reaches a temperature of 320 degrees F. At this temperature, the sugar will take on a light amber color around the edges of the pan.
The moment the sugar reaches 320 degrees F, carefully pour about a sixth of the butter and cream mixture then stir, using the base of the candy thermometer to incorporate it. Repeat with the remaining cream and butter (adding a sixth of it at a time then stirring). The sugar will bubble violently as you add the butter and cream – so do this carefully and slowly to prevent the mixture from bubbling over the sides of the saucepan.
By adding the cream and butter, the temperature will drop. Now, continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the caramel reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F. This will create a soft caramel, if you want slightly harder caramels, bring the temperature closer to 245 degrees F.
The moment the caramel reaches your desired temperature, pour into the prepared loaf pan. Cool 20 to 30 minutes then scatter the salt over the caramel. Then, let the caramel cool 3 1/2 hours.
Unmold the caramel. If the caramel is too soft to work with, place into the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes to firm up. Then, use a large sharp knife to cut into your desired shape. We like to cut into 1-inch by 1-inch squares.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, use a heavy knife to chop chocolate into small pieces. Separate about 1/3 cup of the chocolate and set aside then add the remaining chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter then microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, stir then repeat until melted (stirring after every 30 to 45-seconds). Once the chocolate has melted, add the 1/3 cup of chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny.
Use two forks to dip each caramel into the melted chocolate then place onto parchment paper. Sprinkle a little salt on top of each caramel and allow chocolate to set.
Wrap caramels in plastic wrap or waxed paper and enjoy immediately or refrigerate for enjoying later.