1/2 c unsalted butter
1/2 c heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (36-40% butterfat content)
3 T water
1/4 c light corn syrup
1 c sugar
1 lb high quality chocolate, milk, dark or white
2 T butter
1/2 t course or flaked sea salt
Lightly oil a 9 x 5″ 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″. 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 – 2 min 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 min. 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 – 10 min until the sugar reaches a temp of 320 F. At this temp the sugar will take on a light amber color around the edges of the pan. The moment the sugar reaches 320 F, carefully pour about a sixth of the butter and cream mix 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 mix from bubbling over the sides of the saucepan. By adding the cream and butter, the temp will drop. Now, continue cooking for another 5 – 10 min until the caramel reaches a temp of 240 F. This will create a soft caramel, if you want slightly harder caramels, bring the temp closer to 245 F. The moment the caramel reaches your desired temp, pour into the prepared loaf pan. Cool 20 – 30 min then scatter the salt over the caramel. Then, let the caramel cool 3 1/2 hours.
If the caramel is too soft to work with, place into the refrigerator 30 – 45 min to firm up. Then, use a large sharp knife to cut into your desired shape. We like to cut into 1″ squares.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, use a heavy knife to chop chocolate into small pieces. Separate about 1/3 c chocolate and set aside then add the remaining chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter then microwave for 30 – 45 seconds, stir then repeat until melted (stirring after every 30 – 45 seconds). Once the chocolate has melted, add the 1/3 c chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny. Use 2 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. Once coated, the chocolate coated caramels will keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Softer caramels: This recipe makes soft and chewy caramels, for softer caramels, experiment with adding 2 -4 more T cream.
Corn syrup substitutes: Corn syrup is reliable in this recipe, however we have had success substituting pure honey and golden syrup.