I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying some time with family and friends before the rush to get everything done before Christmas kicks in! The holiday baking season is officially in full swing and if you need a great hostess gift or just a break from your oven, soft salted chocolate caramels are calling your name.
This recipe is the genius work of my mentor, Beth Kimmerle, and has been on permanent rotation since she introduced me to it almost five years ago. I like to describe these caramels as fancy Tootsie Rolls because the flavor is so nice and chocolate-y and they're perfectly soft and chewy (but won't get stuck in your teeth).
Making caramels requires a little bit of patience because the temperature will plateau and then suddenly shoot up, so you have to watch it. Also note that you should use a bigger pot than you think you'll need - the caramel will bubble up to about twice it's original volume while cooking and there's nothing worse than caramel all over your stove.
Soft Salted Chocolate Caramels
Recipe by Beth Kimmerle
Makes about 100 pieces
- 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups corn syrup (light or dark)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt (sea salt, Maldon, etc), for sprinkling over caramels
Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and set aside. Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to ensure that the sugar dissolves. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and allow the mixture to boil without stirring until it reaches 240F (about 10-15 minutes).
Immediately (and carefully!) pour the hot sugar mixture over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared 9x13 and spread evenly if needed. Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to set for 2 hours up to overnight.
Using a large chef's knife, cut caramels into small pieces and wrap in wax paper.