Most recipes you’ll find on this site are very easy, relatively quick, and usually inexpensive. This recipe is one of the exceptions, but I just had to share it with you. When I saw this recipe on another blog, I just knew I had to try it. Matt (my hubby) is a HUGE fan of the salty/sweet treats, so I knew he would love these as soon as I laid eyes on them. And I was right! I was so worried that with all of the extra ingredients I had to buy (these items aren’t normally on my regular grocery list, and some of them can’t even be found in the regular grocery store), and with all of the extra steps I just knew I’d mess it up. But thankfully I was wrong. These were much easier than I thought they’d be, and even more delicious than I’d imagined. If you are debating on making these, I urge you to do so because you won’t be sorry…even with the added expense and trouble of making them.
You’ll need these items
Start by lining an 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper that has been rubbed lightly with butter. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and fleur de sel. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the corn syrup, water, and sugar. Heat over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved. I could tell that my sugar had dissolved by rubbing the back of a spatula on the bottom of the pan. If I could still see sugar crystals, the sugar had not dissolved yet. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color. I actually was so busy watching the color of the mixture so closely that I forgot to photograph it as it came to the caramel color. Sorry!
Remove the vanilla bean from the cream mixture. Slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel mixture, stirring continuously. Watching the candy thermometer closely, bring the mixture to 248 degrees. In this photo, mine is not quite to that point yet.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and allow to sit for 30 minutes before sprinkling with additional fleur de sel. (I forgot to take a photo of that step too…what a dodo!)
Allow to completely cool in the pan before using a pizza cutter to slice. I wrapped mine individually in small pieces of waxed paper so they wouldn’t stick together. What a perfect Christmas gift to give to someone special!
Vanilla Bean Caramels with Fleur de Sel
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Line the bottom and sides of an 8″ square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and fleur de sel. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color. Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly. Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248 degrees on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan. Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with additional fleur de sel. Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut into 1″ pieces and wrap each piece individually in a small piece of waxed paper.