After cooling, I carefully cut the caramels into strips, then into 1-inch squares (the slab in the background is what popped out of the baking pan)
After searching around on the internet a bit, I decided that duplicating Fran’s chocolates would be taking on a little more than I could chew, figuratively. Dipping caramels in chocolate requires tempering the chocolate to make it glossy with that crisp snap to it. Since I’ve never made candy beyond the chocolate truffles that my sister and I make every Christmas, I was a little nervous about having to measuring the temperature of the chocolate perfectly and monitoring the temperature of the caramel.
Finally, I settled on a recipe that would allow me to have the benefit of chocolate but that called for the chocolate to be added to the caramel, which would make it significantly easier to monitor the temperature, since I’d only have to deal with one pot. This recipe was fairly easy, except that I was so paranoid about scorching sugar on my tiny, doll-sized electric range here in Malaysia that I deliberately kept the heat fairly low and ended up standing up in my kitchen, dripping sweat and stirring sugar for almost an hour. Next time, I’ll trust myself and my candy thermometer a little more.
Bubble, bubble: cooking the sugar into the caramel base requires gently swirling the pot, not stirring, and waiting until it turns the perfect golden-brown shade
I also had a little trouble locating gray salt here, so I ended up using Maldon smoked sea salt flakes, and they added a beautiful, subtle smokiness. The caramels were soft but not gooey, and after they cooled I pressed a few additional salt flakes into each one for aesthetics and additional saltiness. Since I’d decided I was going to gift them to a friend, I wrapped each caramel in wax paper and put them in a jar. I then cut a small piece of fabric and wrapped the lid with my new favorite baking twine, Divine Twine.
I’d make these salted caramels again, but I can’t keep these around the house. I kept a handful of caramels for the hubby and me to snack on, and the other day I found a little one stuck to one of our kitchen drawers. I hate to admit it, but I paused for a good 30 seconds thinking about whether or not I should eat it.
I didn’t, in the end. I mean, I do have some standards.
(And no, no baby yet. But he liked the caramels, too.)