Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels

If anyone is looking for a fairly quick and impressive recipe, salted caramels may just be up your alley! I’ve made my original salted caramel recipe a few times now and just about have it down to a science, but this time I wanted to do something a bit different,so I decided to add some vanilla beans to it. Seriously though, who doesn’t love the warm aroma of vanilla beans and the gorgeous little brown specs of beans really add a level of sophistication to a dish. After making the original recipe and these Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels, I must admit that I LOVE the vanilla version. Let’s get to the recipe, so you can decide for yourself.

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream (minimum 30% fat)
  • 1 cup light or white corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Fleur De Sea Salt
  • 5 tbsp butter (a heaping 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scrapped
  • Extra Fleur De Sea Salt for topping the caramels

Start by covering a 9×9 glass baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a big stock pot combine your sugar, syrup, salt, vanilla, vanilla beans and 1 cup of cream. Stir continuously and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s boiling add the remaining cream slowly. I tried to add it in a swirling motion.

Reduce to a low boil for 5-6 minutes without stirring. It will bubble a lot at this point, but don’t worry too much, just make sure you have a deep pot.

Add butter chunks, one tablespoon at a time & evenly dispersed throughout the pot. Boil to 242°F – this is where a candy thermometer really helps and makes the process easy and rather worry free.

This will take 30-45minutes. Around this time your caramels will turn a light golden brown. When they reach 242°F (they should be a nice light caramel color as well), pour into the parchment lined pan. Now here is a little trick that I also like to use, get a cup of really cold water, drop a spoonful of the caramel out of the big pot into the cup. If it’s still stringy and fairly mushy when you grab it, let it continue to boil. Once it easily forms a nice, soft ball, your caramel is done and ready to be poured in the parchment lined pan. Once poured, let sit till firm. The caramel should be nice and soft – a good chewy texture.

Sprinkle the tops of the caramels with Fleur De Sel Sea Salt once the caramels have had a chance to sit for about 10 minutes. I noticed that if you put the salt on right away that it dissolves into the caramels and you don’t get the nice look of the salt. Once the caramel has had a chance to completely set (give it a good hour or two), cut up into little squares and wrap in little squares of wax paper, twisting the edge to make a cute little salted caramel package.

Now, what version do you prefer? The original Salted Caramels or the Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels?

Carlene

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