Salted Butter Caramels

pouring caramel

I had a wee bit of a dilemma recently. In my refrigerator was a half-jar of crème fraîche, that I had to use up before I left for a recent vacation on the beach. I’d been thinking about making caramels with it, but I also knew that I would be slipping on a swimsuit within a few weeks. And being alone in my apartment with an open jar of ultra-rich crème fraîche was probably not a good idea.

bordier butter salted cup of creme fraiche

So what did I do? I hemmed and hawed about it, until I channeled my mother, who would have flipped out if I tossed away the rest of the crème fraîche. (Or anything, for that matter.)


So I made caramels.

starting caramel

I love candy making and used to dream of opening a shop that only sold homemade candy. I don’t think it’d be much of a success, simply because a lot of people don’t care about homemade candy as much as I do. But when you make it yourself, you can use the best ingredients and anyone who has ever experience the smell of good cream and butter sizzling in a pot of deep-dark caramel knows what I’m talking about.

creme fraiche lyle's golden syrup

When I moved to France, I picked up my wonderful copper candy pot at a flea market for about €30, which I treasure, and it’s really sturdy. But unlike the copper pot—and everyone who lives in France is going to love me for this—you know how the aluminum foil here is thinner than newsprint and rips as soon as you try to shape it around anything?

aluminum foil foil-lined pan

Get yourself to Auchan, which I learned a few years ago, has heavy-duty foil. It’s amazing how the little things make me happy nowadays, like a pot of cream or sturdy foil, isn’t it?

sugar and syrup caramel pot handle

Speaking of thick French things, the first time I tried these, the thick crème fraîche, 40% fat content, made them smell amazing when I cooked the caramel, but the finished caramels were oozing silky, slippery, butterfat all over the place. And while delicious, the little squares were a bit hard to hold on to and my head hurt thinking about the comments that would generate ; )

Curiously, in France, it’s very easy to find crème fraîche in any supermarket. But fresh, pourable heavy cream (crème liquide) is difficult to find. Like in the states, ultra-pasteurized is what’s usually available. But do try to find one that’s fresh, not ultra-pasteurized.

happy caramel caramel spoon

Because salted butter caramel deserves only over-the-top ingredients, my Bordier salted butter was called into service. I have three or four kinds of butter on hand at all times, but reserve this mostly for spreading on my morning toast because it’s so precious. It’s €1.80 for 125 g (about 4 ounces, or 1 stick) and even though it’s pricey, I’d pay twice that it’s so good. So don’t tell the fromager who I get it from. (Who last time winked at me, which was worth the extra euros!)

A few tips:

1. Pay attention all the time. Don’t leave the kitchen with a pot of caramel boiling and use a heavy-bottomed, large saucepan. And be aware that the boiling caramel is very hot so take precautions handling it at all times.

2. Have all your equipment and ingredients ready. Pretend you’re a surgeon and have all your tools well-arranged before you start.

3. Candy making depends on accuracy, so you’ll need a candy thermometer. Don’t use those one of those with a probe at the end of a metal cord. I had a Polder one and the device blew out on its first use. When I called, they said if the probe touches the bottom of the pot, which is hotter than the syrup, that can happen. So that was $30 down in the trash and they refused to replace it. Lesson learned.

Hand-held digital probe thermometers are inconvenient for candy making, so I use a simple bulb one, a Taylor. You can get candy thermometers inexpensively in almost any supermarket or hardware store. If you’re unsure if your thermometer is accurate, bring a pot of water to a boil with the thermometer in it; at sea level, it should read 212ºF (100ºC.)

cutting butter in melting butter in caramel

3. Use a heatproof spatula. I am a huge fan of the spoon-spatulas made my Le Creuset. When I taught classes in various Sur La Table stores, I’d get to the stores a few hours early and make a beeline for the Sale rack which was full of discontinued merchandise. Le Creuset runs various colors at certain times of the year (orange, for example, around Halloween, red around Valentine’s Day). And afterward, the items got heavily-reduced so I’d snatch up as many as I could. They’re pretty great.

4. Don’t overstir the syrup. Sugar is a crystal and once you melt it, stirring encourages those crystals to hook back up. So only stir as much as necessary to keep the mixture smooth and to make sure nothing is burning on the bottom.

5. These caramels are slightly firm, but will still melt in your mouth. Waving the blade of a sharp chef’s knife over the flame on a gas burned to warm it will help you get nice, even slices if you do it before each cut.

caramels

Salted Butter Caramels
40-50 candies

Because many people are leery of corn syrup, you can use Golden or rice syrup in this recipe in its place. (For those into agave nectar, I haven’t tried it, but suspect it may not have the right sugar density for candy making.) If using one of these darker syrups, you’ll need to be a bit vigilant and stir it as it’s cooking, since it can cook quickly in certain spots of the pan. Your finished caramels will also be darker, too.

I use salted butter. Traditional wisdom was to only use unsalted butter in baking so you could control the amount of salt. But I like the slightly funky taste of salted butter, and if you can find one that’s cultured, the flavor is incomparable. If you only have unsalted butter, just add a few extra flecks of salt to the cream.

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, bean paste, or powder
  • rounded 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
  • 1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup, golden syrup (such as Lyle's) or rice syrup*
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g), total, salted butter, cubed, at room temperature


1. Line a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan with foil and spray the inside with cooking spray.

2. Heat the cream with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan with the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm while you cook the syrup.

3. In a medium, heavy duty saucepan (4 quarts, 4l), fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the corn syrup, golden, or rice syrup with the sugar, and cook, stirring gently, to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Once the mixture is melted together and the sugar is evenly moistened, only stir is as necessary to keep it from getting any hot spots.

4. Cook until the syrup reaches 310ºF (155ºC).

To get an accurate reading while the syrup is cooking, tilt the saucepan to make sure the bulb of the thermometer is fully submerged in the syrup, tilting the pan if necessary.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth.

5. Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260F (127C).

6. Remove the pan from the heat, lift out the thermometer, and stir in the cubes of butter, until it’s melted and the mixture smooth.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and wait ten minutes, then sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt over the top. Set on a cool rack and let cool completely. Once cool, lift out the foil with the caramel, peel away the foil, and slice the bar of caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles.

Storage: These caramels can be individually-wrapped in cellophane or waxed paper. Once cut, they may stick together if not wrapped. Store in an air-tight container, and they’ll keep for about one month.

*The rice syrup I use is from the Asian market I shop at, found in the Korean foods aisle. I don’t know how it compares to rice syrup sold in natural food’s stores, but if anyone knows, you are welcome to leave that information in the comments.

Related Recipes and Links

Candy Thermometers

Caramel Wrappers (Amazon)

Baking Ingredients and Substitutions

Candied Peanuts

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

How To Make the Perfect Caramel

Chocolate-Covered Salted Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cookies with Salted Peanut Caramel

Triple Chocolate Scotcheroos

Salted Butter Caramel Sauce (Smitten Kitchen)

Valrhona Chocolate School

Quince Caramels (Chez Pim)

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Espresso Caramels (101 Cookbooks)

Coffee Toffee (Zoë Bakes)

Le Roux Salted Butter Caramels

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch

Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Lyle’s Golden Syrup (Amazon)

168 comments

  • Haley: That’s odd, because I made this three times and didn’t have problems. I don’t think the organic sugar would be a problem, although I used regular white sugar each time. In the future, if you have a problem, you can simply melt it back down with some cream or whole milk: it makes a wonderful caramel sauce!

  • I’d have melted it down to a sauce, but the only ice cream in my freezer is mint chocolate chip, and it didn’t seem like caramel would go very well with that. I was waiting, but the pan was taking up valuable space in my refrigerator, so I had to sacrifice it. Also, the 2 layers were somewhat disconcerting. I have been craving good caramels, though, so I will try again this week.

  • I made these caramels yesterday, and they worked perfectly – apart from one thing. I couldn’t get the bloomin’ tin foil off the bottom! I ended up putting it in the freezer until the foil was brittle, then had to peel it off bit by bit. A friend said I should have used baking parchment. What do you think David?
    Anyway, I brought them into work today, and everyone thought they tasted amazing. (Just hope no-one with metal fillings bites into one that has a shard of foil left in it!)

  • Oops, sorry about the repetition. How did I manage to do that?!

  • Bare Cupboard: I used heavy-duty foil, as mentioned, but if you live outside of the US, it’s worth tracking down. I didn’t have any problems. Parchment can buckle and be sticky in candymaking situations but if you have a silicone loaf pan, that would likely work quite well. I don’t have one, but I would probably lightly grease it as well as additional insurance.

  • I made these this weekend and brought them to work, and I have to say that they (and the compliments that ensued) have saved what started out to be an otherwise horrible Monday. Such is the power of caramel.

    (also – used sel gris to sprinkle on top, and oh, it’s a beautiful marriage of flavors)

    thanks for the inspiration.

  • Is there any way the ice-cream caramel sauce can be made without the inverted sugar?

  • I made these today…just lovely. Thanks!

  • These look great. One quick question — when you cook the sugar and the sugar/cream mixture, how high is the heat on your stove? Also, how long does it usually take your caramel to get to 260F? It seems like it takes ages when I do it, even though the recipes I’ve used say it should only take a few minutes. Any sage advice for this novice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Hi Dan: I don’t always offer that information in recipes where there are so many variables. For one thing, I have a fairly basic stove, and medium heat on mine isn’t comparable to ‘medium heat’ on a more powerful range. That said, the heat was fairly high, but not blasting.

    And the time it takes depends a lot on what cookware you’re using. As shown, the copper pot that I use cooks very fast because copper is an amazing conductor of heat. So it took me around 5 minutes, but can take much longer in another vessel.

    That’s why most candy making relies on a thermometer; it’s the best, most accurate way to success!

  • Oh David, the caramel look so yummy and I am a caramel lover. I want to try this recipe but unfortunely I didn’t have a thermometer and so my home town in Sarawak.How many gram is one stick of butter? By the way, thanks a lot for the recipe.

  • Tried these candys today, but failed completely :( The product I got smells wonderful, but is years too softly. I am not able to cut them any way, the consistency is more like a demi-glace … What am I doing wrong?

  • Oliver, Mat: One of you says they are too hard, and the other says they are too soft. I made these three times, and they came out with the exact same consistency.

    So for you, and others with similar questions, please check the troubleshooting advice in the post. Since you’re having divergent results, something likely is being done incorrectly.

  • Thanks David, tried it again yesterday, this time it was a success! I think it was the wrong cream last time, this time I used Creme double (42% fat)

    Sunday I will try the cheesecake brownies ;-)

  • Theoretically: What would one do to get them just a teeny little bit less soft? My sister just forced me to send her her weekly fix so the caramels have to survive La Poste between Paris and Vienna. Less butter? Cooking the sugar to a little bit higher temperature? Cooking the final melange a little bit higher?

    It’s really just a nuance I would like to change.

    Oh, and could you take on white nougat (torrone) as our next lesson, please? I have tried three recipes so far and am still not 100 per cent satisfied. Thanks so much. ;-)

  • Sigrid: You could cook the sugar to a higher temperature if you want harder caramels (I can’t say for sure without trying them), but if you do make them, be sure to cut them while they’re still soft. Otherwise they’ll likely be hard to cut and break.

  • David, I have just discovered your blog while looking for Panne Cotta (which I will try for Valentine’s Day). However, I’ve been making Salted Caramels for a couple of years and cannot wait to try your version! I’m posting here because I have converted to using silicon vessels for the final pour-out. No cooking spray necessary, no cutting if you use, for example, mini cupcake pans. I’ve run across a number of small silicon cups or tiny dishes, and I simply put them nestled into an 8×8 pan or whatever to keep them upright. Note – for the cupcake pans, I place them on a firm base such as a cookie sheet. I pour the caramel directly into the small cups, sprinkle the salt on top, and let cool. They pop right out.
    Thanks again for a terrific site and lovely pics.

  • Hi Margot: I was going to mention silicone bakeware, which I don’t like for baking, but is useful in situations such as this. Since the recipe is intended for a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan, one could be used. Or as you mentioned, the caramels could be poured right into individual-sized molds as well, such as these bite-sized molds, or similar-sized candy molds.

  • David, I really enjoy the usage of de Buyers Elastomoule silicone forms. Have you ever tried them?

  • I made these today and they are delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Made them last night. Loved them…. totally and utterly perfect, and actually simple.
    My only problem was not using “heavy duty” foil : ) as I didn’t have much on hand… bad mistake …
    Anyway, thanks for the recipe!

  • Τhese are perfect!Thanks for the recipe!

  • I made 1/2 of my batch into rolos! rolled them up into little balls and dipped in Noi Sirius 70% Icelandic chocolate! homemade rolos :>

  • Just made a double batch of these for the first time – they turned out perfect and taste even better!! Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Hi David- how do you keep the caramels bubble free near the end? I stirred for a bit, but felt like I was creating more bubbles. Should I have just kept stirring?

  • @Stephanie: I mentioned to stir “only as necessary” to keep the sugar from burning on the bottom. So yes, it’s best to keep stirring to a minimum, which as you found out, creates bubbles.

  • I just made these, using a mixture of light Karo and Lyle’s Golden Syrup with the sugar. The flavor is PERFECT, but either my thermometer was off (I will investigate that) or 260 degrees F is too high. The caramels hardened to beyond chewy, and I broke a filling on my first bite. Next time I will stop cooking them at 250 degrees.

    I salvaged these (well, far more than salvaged, actually) by reheating them with some water and a little more heavy cream. I now have a fabulous salted butter caramel *sauce* that I can happily eat by the spoonful!

  • P.S. My thermometer is 2 degrees off–boiling water read 210 degrees F. So next time I’ll stop at 255. Or not, and make a fabulous sauce again.

  • David–I made the caramels with homemade creme fraiche (made from U.S. heavy cream and yogurt as starter) and it made fantastic caramels! Not at all greasy / slippery. Thanks for a great idea!

  • David, Can’t wait to try these – have all the ingredients but am curious if wax paper might be used in place of the heavy duty foil?

  • Hi David!
    I have have made this recipe a few times and it is perfect. I do have one problem: I live in Paris and I can’t seem to find cellophane or wax papers candy wrappers. All they have in Mora are Wilton foil wrappers, which I am using by default but they are fussy and expensive, or big rolls of cellophane which I would have to cut up myself!
    Where do you get your wrappers?
    I am sorry to bother you with this, but I was out of ideas!

  • Laura: I cut my own as well and don’t know of any sources for things like that in Paris. You might want to check Cuisto Shop online, as they often have a lot of those kinds of things.

  • Nevermind – dug into my stash of heavy duty foil and it worked perfectly. These were incredible.

  • Made this again last weekend and finally cut them last night. Wow — wonderful!

    As I wanted to work with what was in my pantry, I made a few changes:

    – 3/4 honey and 1/4 sorghum in place of the corn syrup
    – steeped six black cardamom pods for 10-15 minutes in the hot cream
    – combination of vanilla seeds and extract
    – used unsalted butter and upped the salt
    – used mostly light brown sugar and some granulated sugar (about a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio)

    I wasn’t thrilled with the flavors right after I made the caramel, but after it sat for a few days, it really mellowed out into a wonderful butterscotch-y, rich, deep, slightly spicy candy, with a perfectly smooth, almost taffy-like texture.

    In the future, this recipe will be my template for other experimenting; I have visions of Drambuie or rum or Xtabentun-flavored caramels, and I’d like to infuse the cream with any number of herbs and spices. I’ve made caramels in the past, but I’m hot on the trail now with your sturdy, reliable recipe. Thanks for sharing your hard work with us, David!

  • I was curious what contributes more to the final texture of the caramels – the first 310F cooking or the 260 the second time? If you overcook the first temp but cook to the right temp the 2nd time, what happens? (and vice versa?)

  • Tried the recipe following your instructions to the letter, the candies taste great but do not hold their shape (they get “flat” after a while). Wrapping them just after cutting would prevent this? Or cooking the sugar to a higher temperature?

    Thanks, David!

    Javier

  • I tried candy making with agave syrup — it doesn’t work. The candies don’t hold up like they do with corn syrup. I am interested to try these with rice syrup so I can avoid high fructose corn syrup.

    David, thanks for this recipe, it’s delicious!

  • BHP: High-fructose corn syrup and the corn syrup you buy in the supermarket are not the same product. You can read more at a post I did about corn syrup, and there is a link there that describes the difference. Agave syrup is fine to use for certain things, but as you learned, agave nectar doesn’t have the same density for candymaking. Rice and golden syrup both are closer approximations.

  • I make them with golden syrup and maldon salt and they are scrumptious: every single person who tastes them is blown away.

    A curiosity though: when I make them in a 5 qt. Le Creuset they come out firm which I prefer; when I make them in a 2 qt. Bernes pot, they come out soft. Since everything else is constant, it puzzles me as to the different outcomes; could it be the pan’s material or the size? My purpose for choosing the smaller pot is it is easier for me to handle when pouring out.

  • Usually boiling sugar + me = disaster, but following your wonderfully detailed directions and tips, this was my FIRST really succesful batch of caramel. Thanks so much for all the info (not to mention the 25 years of recipe testing).

    FYI, I used organic evaporated cane juice (the ‘whiter’ of natural sugars) which worked quite well; the final flavor and texture were quite perfect.

    Thanks again!

  • Speaking of Salt………

    After recently making your Chocolate Chip Cookies (p.188 – Really great!) I noticed that you called for salt as one of the ingredients. Not so unusual, however, now that we have so many kinds of salt from which to choose, it raises the question whenever you see salt in the ingredient list — should I use iodized table salt, kosher salt, or various special sea salts?

    In the chocolate chip cookies with mesquite flour, Heidi calls for fine sea salt. Flo Braker indicates in her compendium of ingredients that all her recipes are made with iodized table salt. Is there still the default option of using iodized salt when recipes don’t specify. Where do you weigh in as to salt type? Comment please.

  • David Dear – I so want to make these caramels but I live at 7,200 feet in the Front Range of the Rockies, what would your suggestion be for the temperature adjustment?

    Thank you for making me a better and more thoughtful cook. jd

  • Joy: Unfortunately I don’t have any experience at high-altitude baking so can’t advise. But perhaps there are websites or books with information and adjustment charts that you can use to help you out.

    There is a good link with high-altitude baking adjustments at the end of my post: Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.

  • Thanks David – think I may just go visit someone closer to sea level when I want to make these. I am one frustrated baker at 7200 feet. I think I have every cookbook there is on high altitude cooking with catchy names like “Pie in the Sky,” very thoughtful authors but this old California girl may just be to old to learn these new tricks but it is not because I have not tried and truth be told probably will keep trying. BTW absolutely love the “stash” recipe especially on chicken cutlets that I grill. Yum! Fall is close at hand in the Rockies so I plan on cleaning out the herb pots tomorrow and make my final stash for the season. Thank you David. jd

  • David – I think I found my answer: “HIGH ALTITUDE CANDY MAKING Note: The temperatures specified here are for sea level. As with most cooking at high altitudes, there are modifications that need to be made to candy recipes. For every 1,000 feet/300 meters above sea level, subtract 2 degrees F/1 degree C from every boiling point listed.”

    I will let you know if it works! jd

  • Hi David,

    How can you store these?

    Thanks,

    Kimberly

  • For my third version of your caramels, David, I used Steen’s cane syrup instead of corn syrup, then added a few drops of orange essential oil, and then dusted the top with grey sea salt crushed with ground cinnamon and cayenne – my boyfriend’s suggestion. They smell outrageous!

    kimberly, we cut ours into small squares, wrap them in waxed paper, and store them in a bag in the refrigerator. They last for months this way.

  • David,

    I’ve been making caramels at Christmas for years and look forward to trying your recipe. (May even try them for Halloween this year). I think its the high-fructose corn syrup that’s the problem, not regular.

  • Audrey: Where do you buy pure high fructose corn syrup? I’ve only seem regular corn syrup at stores, which isn’t the same thing.

  • Excited to try this recipe today. David do you know if I wanted these to start out where these will cut cleanly but be slightly softer rather than hard, at either one of or both of these points if I shave off a couple degrees will that do the trick? I realize it’s not an exact science but any advice will be great.

    4. Cook until the syrup reaches 310ºF (155ºC).

    5. Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260F (127C).

    Will report the results, using rice syrup.

    Thanks!

  • Just made the caramels with Lundberg brown rice syrup – Came out perfectly. Truly luscious, and I followed the recipe except used 1/2 c of this syrup instead of the corn syrup. No burning problems. Yay, thanks for the great detailed directions!!

  • I like the way you write about the salted Caramels, for sure, you are one who is a candy passionate. Do let me know if the homemade candy shop works out. Do sell online too, so I can order a batch :)

  • Hi David
    I found your recipe by luck, and just made these caramel for the second time – amazing! first time with honey and second time with syrup (since corn syrup costs a fortune here in Denmark)
    I have tried for years to make great caramels, but never really suceeded in getting the right texture (have made very good amazing caramelsauces though!)
    Thank you so much! I will definately follow your blog! love your writing and easy-to-follow recipes AND that you tell the amounts in g and ml – makes it so much easier!

  • This Salted Butter Caramels look very delicious! I will try this recipe for my guests!

  • hi David,

    I’ve been looking at a number of recipes for caramels, and most of them seem to have you stop between 240-248 – yours is the only one I’ve seen that goes to 260. Does that mean these will be harder than most caramels? or is there some other reason to go to 260?

    here is an example: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/recipe-review/diy-salt-caramels-ungift-guide-2008-071818

    thank you!

  • I made these last night and they’re a total hit with my family! In the future I’d like to add flavors to the base…could you advise how you would add flavor? Amount? Would you keep the salt/butter measurements the same?

    Thanks in advance for any info you can offer!

  • Jem: You would need to add an extract or oil, which are very concentrated flavors. I did mention citrus oils on the site a while back but natural food stores and cookware & candymaking stores and websites sell extracts/oils as well.

    Jenn: Mine has you add butter after they’re cooked, which lowers the temperature.

  • I need a video for this one! Would you consider making a caramel-making video? I tried to make caramel with my sister when I was a kid and we poured the caramel on the plate and it got hard and stuck to the glass plate-we had to throw the caramel and the plate away. I tried again several years ago and I thought I was doing everything right, but I could never get the caramel to reach the right temperature. It kept bubbling and stayed at the same temperature but I neeeded it to go higher to get to the right stage. I am scared to make caramel. It reminds me of this Martha Setwart Mag in the 90’s that had Gelato recipes. I was dying to try to make gelato. I had to steep the hazelnuts for 24 or 48 hours. Then I went to cook it and it curdled right away! Disaster! I am a much better baker now, but I don’t want to attempt caramels again until I get a grip on what exactly needs to be done for it to turn out right. Thanks for all your great posts-I read them with a cup of coffee!

  • LOL! Hi David, I found this post because I was trying to work out what to do with the unopened container of pouring cream in my fridge, it was nearing its expiry date. Read this post in the afternoon, rushed out to get golden syrup and caramels are cooling on counter as I type this. Thank you! (Already tasted cooled bits off the spatula, I know I’m going to have trouble restraining myself).

    Question: can I just double the recipe if I want to make a large batch or will that throw the measurements out? Thanks again.

  • shaz: Candy can be tricky so am not sure if this recipe works well if doubled. But if you give it a go, let me know how it turns out.

    Maureen: If the temperature isn’t rising on your thermometer, you might want to check it for accuracy. You can bring a pot of water to a boil with the thermometer in it (don’t plunge a cold thermometer into a hot pot or it can break)-and the temperature should read 212ºF, or 100ºC.

  • Thanks David. Just wanted to let you know that I have made another batch (doubled) and it worked perfectly fine. I measured everything rather than use cups and tablespoons. The recipe even survived the addition of 60ml milk to make up 360ml (my carton of cream only measured 300ml). To flavour, I steeped cloves in the cream overnight, and sprinkled home-made orange salt over the top. Perfect for christmas gifts :) Thanks again for such a great recipe.

  • My caramels while flavorful are hard, more toffee-like. Did I go to high a temp at the second stage or stir the sugar too much. I used really good butter.

  • I made two batches of your caramel today. The first with corn syrup and the second with Lundberg brown rice syrup. I made no other alterations. The batch with the brown rice syrup was definitely harder, almost toffee-like. The flavor was comparable to the corn syrup version; perhaps a little deeper, richer flavor. I would use the brown rice syrup again but will try cooking it to a little lower temperature, perhaps about five degrees on the first boil. Thanks. This was a easy to follow and yummy recipe.

  • David, I was on the verge of swearing off of making caramels when I found this recipe. I screwed up several batches following different methods and felt utterly defeated.

    I modified this to make rosemary scented sea salt caramels that I’ve dipped in 70% cacao. They are incredible. I split the difference between hard and soft ball to get the consistency I wanted. I will definitely be making these again.

    Thanks again. I finally feel like I can make caramels. Wahoo!

  • Thank you David. Each of your recipes is great. I doubled the recipe (one for me and one for everyone else ;) and followed it exactly. I didn’t use foil – we don’t get along. But, I lined a jelly roll pain with parchment paper. I poured it in a thin layer, added the sea salt 10 mins later. After it cooled, i placed it on a cutting board, used a zyliss pizza slicer and sliced strips length and width to create rectangles/squares. I cut up parchment paper and wrapped each onederful little treat. I used Maldon sea salt, store bought unsalted butter, sugar and heavy cream… superb. Next time, I might try with more expensive ingredients. I hope I die on a day that I’ve had a few of these caramels. :)

  • Same message on your FB page. Thanks. I just submitted a recipe to the food52 cardamom contest for “Salted Orange Cardamom Caramels – with or without pistachios or chocolate” and I borrowed heavily from your Salted Butter Caramels. This in my head note with a link, is it OK? Caramels are intimidating & tricky but your technique really works. I also posted on my rarely visited & sporadically posted on blog. http://thewellwornapron.blogspot.com/
    Salted Orange Cardamom Caramels – with or without pistachios or chocolate.

  • First, I am a big fan; your recipes are wonderful as is your prose! I am going to try these using barley malt syrup and wondered if you thought that would work. I use brown rice syrup all the time to replace corn syrup in candymaking.

  • Nancy: I haven’t tried it with barley malt but if you do, please let me know how it works out. Happy candymaking!

    For additional information and advice about substituting ingredients, check out my post Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.