Make soft caramels at home – in the microwave!
The boy and girl and I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder recently and ever since they’ve been talking about making our own sweets and chocolates at home.
I’ve always been put off making my own sweets by recipes calling for sugar thermometers and complicated instructions.
So I decided to try and make soft caramels at home adapting a recipe for caramel ice cream sauce I’ve had for a while (no idea where I got it from).
This recipe calls for corn syrup, which while not widely available in UK supermarkets, you can get from trusty Amazon for a few pounds a bottle. One bottle will make two quantities of this recipe so it’s definitely worth it if you plan on making these caramels as gifts.
This quantity will make approx. 100 caramels, each approx. 3cm square.
550g soft brown sugar
300g corn syrup
397g tin of condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Sea salt to sprinkle, optional
Dark chocolate, melted, optional
What to do:
Butter a 20cm x 30cm (approx.) shallow baking tray, with sides.
In a large microwave safe bowl melt the butter.
Add everything else except the vanilla and mix really well.
Microwave on full power for 4 – 5 minutes (our microwave is 1000W so I did it for 4 minutes).
Take out of the microwave and hand whisk for 20 seconds. Remember it’ll be extremely hot each time you take it out of the microwave.
Microwave on full power again for 4 – 5 minutes (again, adjust according to your microwave power).
Take out and whisk again for 20 seconds.
Microwave one more time on full power for 4 – 5 minutes.
Take out and whisk one last time while adding the vanilla essence.
Pour the mixture into the greased baking tray.
Let it cool for a couple of hours.
Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Using a knife, cut into bite sized squares.
Sprinkle with sea salt, if using.
Cut baking parchment into squares and wrap the caramels inside, twisting the ends.
To cover in chocolate:
Melt 200g dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water).
Using a wooden skewer or fork, spear a caramel square and dip into the chocolate. Tap a few times to remove excess chocoalte and place on some baking parchment to set.
The chocolate caramels do not need to be kept in the fridge. The chocolate will set hard and the caramel inside will become slightly softer than the plain caramels.
These caramels will make great Halloween or Bonfire Night treats or teacher gifts and Christmas presents.