California Caramels: Little Flower Candy Company

Last year I read about a pastry chef-turned-candymaker in Los Angeles. She was becoming known around those parts for her tender caramels, blended with wisps of sel de mer (sea salt.)

californiacaramelsparis.jpg

Inspired by the amazing CBS, caramel-beurre-salé caramels produced by the master himself, Henri LeRoux, Christine Moore’s caramels are indeed the best I’ve had in the US.

A friend drove me out to the Silverlake region of Los Angeles. It’s a rather funky area, full of shoe shops, stores with second-hand clothing racks on sidewalks, just-opened bakeries, and a music studio that Flea (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) opened for the young folks of the neighborhood.

And there’s the The Cheesestore of Silverlake, a small shop with wheels of cheese piled high on the counter, and a carefully chosen selection of ‘gourmet’ foods…although I hate to use that word, which seems so pretentious, and this shop is anything but. They’re incredibly friendly (and yes, I seem to be the only one who truly likes LA…) and we spoke a bit about what they carry, their cheese and wine selection – and, of course, the creamy, wonderful caramels.

Although a few might consider them a tad salty for their taste (I love them), The Little Candy Company caramels were cooked to just the right temperature…not too tough, not too sticky and meltingly-soft, cooked just enough to that chewy stage to give them some ‘bite’. As we ripped open the package, unwrapped a few tender morsels and popped them in our mouths, we did concede that it was impossible to reproduce the French caramels exactly. But boy, those caramels sure were good. No matter where they’re made.

-Sea Salt Caramels from The Little Flower Candy Company can be ordered via their website.

-Check out the recipe for Christine Moore’s Chocolate-Caramel Tartlets.

21 comments

  • Congratulations, David on winning the best City Food Blog! Great news and you will be (and so you should be) thrilled! I am, for you!

  • Ok, go to Lyon for KALOUGA chock bar at Bernachon..then go to Quiberon for Le Roux’s CBS..Where next David? I’m getting a train pass as well as a Metro pass next trip…Big congrats on winning the Best City Blog! I remember Bloomingdales used to carry Dalloyou’s caramels more than 10 years ago & the only thing that got me through exercise class on 67th street was the thought of heading over afterwards to 60th for those caramels…Thanks :)

  • Yippee for winning!!!!
    And by City Blog, does that mean that you must only talk about one city? I DON’T think so!

    I love L.A. too. It’s you, me and Randy Newman. That area of Silverlake was my last “hood”, and usually were I stay now when I visit. I really like it. Going next in summer, will check out caramels.

    Thank you for your blog!

  • Hey congratulations on the award!! You know you had MY vote…!

  • Congratulations!!!!!!! What a pity not being there to celebrate…hic!

  • See? I said you were “so city” and I was right! Congrats David, you deserve it. I lurve your blog and I lurve you. Don’t ever change. But really, it’s too cold for ice cream today. Hot chocolate though, I could definitely celebrate with some hot chocolate.

  • Hmmmm…there are those who won’t eat ice cream in winter and those who won’t drink hot chocolate in summer. And then there are those of us who insist on having both all year round. I’m happy to be in the latter camp but I might give up one of them to be in Paris this second…

  • Oh my god, I’m so happy to see you writing about these. I discovered them when I was staying with my best friend, who happens to live around the corner from the Cheese Shop of Silverlake. We had to restrain ourselves from eating an entire bag of these in one sitting. We were almost successful.

    Okay, I already congratulated you in the post before, but here goes again: yay!

  • Congrats! Glad my vote was on the winning side. Was not the case last time I voted (in Idaho and not for the oil man of choice). Will send my mom’s caramel icing recipe when I can dig it up… been on my birthday cake for many years. LA gets my vote too… love the place.

  • I voted for you! My father used to say there’s no such thing as “gourmet” food–there’s only good food and bad food.

  • Congratulations! I love coming here and knowing that I will always learn something AND be amused. It’s also nice to get a big dose of Paris.

    You have probably addressed this before, but are any worthwhile salty French caramels available in the US?

  • I think that LeRoux caramels can be shipped to the US, but it may be cheaper to send me a plane ticket (Business Class…please!) and have them hand-delivered. Click on the link I provided to their site (then on the British flag) for shipping and other information in English.

  • Being a huge fan of your site, I’m so happy you won Best City Food Blog! Congrats! I love the salty/sweet combination and have done a bit of experimenting in the kitchen with my own CBS recipe. But these sure look divine…I wonder if they ship to Canada? Will check it out.

  • Oh David! I’m so glad you are talking about these sea salt caramels. They are soooo good – I can never eat just one. You are right – it is the butter! I brought these as holiday gift to the Pacific NorthWest and everyone goobled them up. I live four funky blocks from the Cheesestore of Silver Lake and visit often enough that, um, yeah, they know my face. Yeah, I’m a cheesestore groupie. I just can’t help it, the cheese, it calls my name. “Oh, Cynthia, we’re waiting here for you….”. So, um, what was I saying (wiping drool from chin), if you think the neighborhood is funky, you should have seen it when I moved in 10 years ago. Where the cheesestore is now there was a really scary looking veterinarian (think motorcycle daddy) who once (and only once) treated my 15 year old cat. Thank god for the cheesestore.

  • I’ve had those caramels and they are indeed yummy. Another place to get them (and I think they are even better because they are covered in chocolate) is Recchiutti Confections in The Ferry Plaza Building in San Francisco. And these can also be ordered online at http://www.recchiuticonfections.com.

    Great Blog, and as a native Angeleno, I love LA!

    And to Cynthia, isn’t there still a leather bar across the street from the Cheesestore? Gay men in leather chaps, caramels and great cheese….gotta love Silverlake.

  • Congratulations David. I didn’t vote just because of your blog, I voted because you took the time to graciously answer an email I sent you once, while I could list a few who were “too big” for that sort of thing. I like to see good guys win, for a change! So here’s an “atta boy”……… atta boy! :-)

  • I thoroughly enjoyed a recent trip to Paris with the help of printouts from your site. Congrats on your win!

  • Yes Cheryl, there is fortunately still that bar across the street called Le BARcito (gotta get the French and the Spanish into the name!). I say fortunately because the neighborhood is in rapid transition from beloved funkiness to chic hipness. Some changes we’ve seen,for example: the Tom of Finland Foundation being replaced by the expensive Fandango Salon; funky corner shop replaced by the so-so Towne and Country cafe; super small Salvation Theatre replaced by a childrens clothing store…yikes. Sadly, the gay men are quickly being out numbered by Westside breeders. The Silver Lake we love is,we fear, turning into the Silver Lake we loathe. But the Cheesestore still ROCKS!

  • felicitation david!!

  • David,
    There seems to be a discrepancy in the ingredient list versus the instructions
    for your “Orange and Cardamom Upside
    Down Cake”. The discrepancy is 1/4 teaspoon
    of ground cardamom in both places.
    ThaNKS

  • Here’s the promised Caramel Icing recipe. My grandmother brought this from Switzerland to Nashville in the early 1900′s.

    Katherine’s Caramel Icing
    2 cups sugar
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 cup butter
    1 Tabl. butter
    Combine sugar, butter, buttermilk, and soda. Cook to soft ball stage (240degrees). Remove from heat. Pour into bowl of electric mixer and add vanilla and 1 tablespoon butter. Let sit and cool for 10 minutes. Beat until the bright shine turns dull. Spread of tall chocolate cake.
    For a double layer cake, make one and one half times this recipe.
    Your success depends on the weather!