The holidays are just around the corner. But before they start to sneak up on us in full force, I vote we all take some time this month to make some homemade candy. In collaboration with Chronicle Books to promote Rachel Khoo's new cookbook, I made these amazing salted butter caramels!
Did you know that making your own caramels is super easy? It is. Honestly. The only real trick to it is that you'll likely want a candy thermometer. I resisted buying a candy thermometer the first few years I got into cooking. But finally, I took the plunge, and you know what? It has turned out to be one of my more used kitchen items. Go figure.
But, if you are still resisting the ol' candy thermometer, good news, you can still make caramel.
These are not your average caramels. Oh no. These are salted butter caramels from My Little French Kitchen. Did you know that Rachel Khoo has another cookbook out!? I loved her last one, so I was super excited to check this one out as well. And if you like French cooking and beautiful photos, then you'll love this cookbook. You can see my copy in the photo below, and it's pretty full of Post-it notes already. To me, if I immediately start filling up a cookbook with Post-its (on pages of things I want to cook), that's a very good sign.
OK, let's make caramels (or caramel sauce… you'll see).
3/4 cup sugar
7 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for the top is you wish)
Place half of the sugar plus 2 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan or pot. Cook over medium/high heat until the sugar dissolves, begins to bubble then turns a deep amber brown. This may take 5-7 minutes depending on how hot you have your temperature turned to. It's best just to keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too dark or burnt.
Once it turns that deep amber brown, remove from the heat and add in the remaining ingredients. Be careful as you do because the mixture may bubble up or spit at you (how rude!).
Now, if you want to simply make caramel sauce, you don't really need a thermometer. Just cook over medium heat for an additional 3-4 minutes. If you want to make caramel candies (like I did), you'll want to cook the mixture until it reaches 260°F or "hard ball" stage.
Allow the caramel to cool for at least an hour before you cut it into smaller pieces and wrap in parchment paper.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.