Could someone please tell December to slow down? I have never considered myself to be a “last-minute” Christmas person but I have realised that at the beginning of December I adopt a “don’t worry, there’s a whole month to do everything” approach. But there isn’t a whole month at all. There’s 24 days. Well, 23 really. And 13 of those days are taken up with work. So that only leaves 10 days in which to squeeze everything else into, like making & buying presents, baking, decorating, eating, preparing etc. etc. 10 days is not enough. So far I have only bought one present and 3 stocking fillers. That’s not enough.
Next year I am starting Christmas in July. It’s the only way.
But back to the here and now. It’s edible gift week! And we are starting with some soft, buttery, delicious salted caramels.
Who wouldn’t be pleased if you turned up with a bag full of these?
Although they do require about 30 minutes of continuous gentle stirring, the recipe is simple and you leave them overnight to set. Then all you have to do is cut and wrap. (Note – you will need bigger pieces of non-stick baking paper than you think to wrap them!)
I got 64 caramels out of one batch (cutting the slab into 8×8) but some of them were a bit big so you can easily get more than that by making them a little smaller. Which means it’s not a big deal if
one two five go missing.
PS – if after you have cut and wrapped the caramels you decide to lick the paper in order to get every last morsels and someone catches you and looks at you with either scorn or derision, just hand them a caramel. They’ll soon understand / fight you for the paper.
Soft Salted Caramels
- 250ml double cream
- 180ml condensed milk
- 250ml golden syrup (or corn syrup)
- 220g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 60g butter, diced
- 1 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes, plus extra for decoration
- Greaseproof paper for wrapping
- Lightly grease and line a tray bake pan with non-stick baking paper.
- In a small saucepan, place the cream and condensed milk and heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until just warm and mixed together. Remove from heat.
- In a slightly larger saucepan, place the golden syrup, caster sugar and water and heat over a high heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Using a sugar thermometer, cook until the temperature reaches 120 celsius (250 fahrenheit). Reduce the heat to low and carefully add the cream/condensed milk mixture, the butter and the tsp of salt and cook, stirring more or less continuously, until the mixture has thickened and is a rich caramel colour (anywhere between 10-30 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and pour into the prepared tray. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and leave to cool/set overnight.
- Use the paper to lift the caramel out of the pan. Slice into rectangle pieces and wrap in non-stick paper.