Sea Salt Caramels
adapted from apartmenttherapy.com
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.
Bring the cream, butter and sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat and set aside.
Boil the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan; then cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 248°F, the firm-ball stage. Carefully stir in the cream mixture—the mixture will bubble up. Simmer, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. The temperature should not go higher than 250°F. The mixture will slowly darken and turn golden brown. Once to the consistency you want (see candymaker tip below), pour the mixture into the baking pan and cool 2 hours.
Yield: About 40 caramels
CANDYMAKER TIP: To get the caramel consistency you want, test by dropping a spoonful of caramel into a bowl of cold water. It will form a ball, which you can test with your fingers. Stop cooking when the ball is the consistency that you want.
OPTIONAL: You can enrobe your caramels in tempered melted chocolate; sprinkle the top with some grains of sea salt (pretty salts make a difference); or press in some culinary lavender buds.* Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, folding ends or twisting to close like taffy.*
ALTERNATIVE: Pour the caramel into individual candy cups.