Bits and Bobs
¾ cup sugar
⅛ cup water
⅛ cup light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream (must be ‘heavy’… you need the fat content)
2 ½ tbsunsalted butter
½ tbs salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Sprinkle of Fleur de Sel
Heat heavy cream, butter, and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, scalding (heating until bubbles around the edges only) the cream slightly, then turn off and set aside.
Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a pot. Wash down sides with a little bit of water using your finger or a pastry brush to avoid any uncooked sugar grains dropping into the boiling sugar (this can cause crystallization of your mixture). Bring sugar mix to boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until a warm golden brown. Swirl the pot instead of stirring to again avoid any uncooked sugar grains (or any other outside bits) from getting into the melting sugar and causing the mix to harden or crystallize.
When the sugar mix has reached its golden brown color, turn off the heat and very gradually add the cream to the pot. There will be a full bubble effect, so go SLOW! Stir in the vanilla extract and return the pot to the stove, cooking at a medium-high heat again for about another 10 minutes.
You want the caramel to reach firm ball stage, or 248°F on a candy thermometer. If you are not using a thermometer, drop a small amount of the caramel sauce into a cold glass of water. The sauce should form a ball, and when taken out of the water will hold its shape. If it starts to flatten out slowly when removed the water, you are only at the soft ball stage and should continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
When you have reached firm ball, pour the sauce out onto a small sheet pan or baking dish. I line my sheet pan with parchment paper to avoid any sticking and to make clean up easy. Alternatively, lightly spray the pan with cooking spray.
Allow to cool for just a minute and then sprinkle with Fleur de Sel. The caramel will set up over the next 20 minutes or so and then can be cut into bite sized pieces.