Vanilla Caramels With Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt

Vanilla caramels with dark chocolate and sea salt.

Yields | 50 |

  • nonstick cooking oil spray
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ cups vanilla sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp flaky sea salt

| Preparation | Line an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking oil spray.

In a medium saucepot over medium heat, add cream, butter and salt, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and water until a thick paste forms. Wipe down sides of pan to avoid sugar crystals forming. Place a candy thermometer against one side of pan so it’s immersed in sugar paste. Cook over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, letting syrup come to a boil without stirring. Once sugar reaches 250°F on candy thermometer, but before it reaches 320°F, turn off heat.

Slowly pour warmed cream-butter mixture into syrup and gently whisk until fully combined. (The mixture will bubble, so be sure to go slowly to avoid splatters and burns.)

Increase heat back to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil (do not stir). When caramel begins to turn a reddish brown and the temperature reaches between 240°F to 245°F on thermometer, remove pan from heat. Pour caramel into prepared baking dish over parchment paper and leave out at room temperature for 2 hours.

When caramel is almost finished setting, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1-inch of water to a gentle simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of pan (bowl should not be touching water). Add dark chocolate to bowl and stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula until chocolate is smooth and fully melted. Drizzle melted chocolate over dish with caramel and sprinkle flaky sea salt over top. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting caramels into small squares or rectangles. Wrap individual caramels in parchment paper and twist paper at either end, or place inside a gift box lined with parchment paper.

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Julia Calleo is a freelance photographer for editorial magazines including Feast. She is also a food and prop stylist at a commercial production studio and blogger in St. Louis.

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