Chocolate with Francois: Milk Chocolate Caramels with Fleur De Sel

by Joanne on January 30, 2012

This month Julie chose a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany and I knew I was in trouble.  You see, I just cannot resist caramel or toffee.

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There’s not a THING healthy about the candy.  We don’t even use dark chocolate.  Still, that wasn’t going to stop me from trying my hand at making a chewy, creamy caramel at home.  Unfortunately, these sweets turned out so good, I’ll probably be using this recipe over and over again.  My dentist and I are going to get very close in the months to come.

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Page 77, a Francois Payard recipe.  Makes about 50 caramels.  *I only varied the recipe slightly.  See Julie’s site for the original version.

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  • Vegetable cooking spray for pan, parchment and storage
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6.5 oz semi sweet chocolate chopped
  • Fleur de sel (a high quality salt in the spice section of the grocery store)

Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan with cooking spray.  Line it with parchment that extends 2” up all sides. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.

Combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium high heat. *Use a large saucepan because the mixture will bubble up and you don’t want it to bubble over onto your stove.

Stir, with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves.  Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 243 F.

Immediately stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.  Pour into prepared pan and level out to make smooth. Allow to sit at room temperature for one hour.

After one hour, remove the caramel from the pan by grabbing the parchment.  Spray a knife with cooking spray and cut into 1” squares. Top each square with a few grains of fleur de sel and allow to sit at room temperature for 6 hours, uncovered.  This allows moisture to evaporate and helps caramels retain their shape.

Store in an air tight container by lining with parchment, spray with vegetable spray and repeating to separate each layer of caramels.  This will prevent them from sticking to each other.  Storage time is about 2 weeks.

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or…you can make little candy wrappers and give them away to your caramel loving cohorts.

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These sweets taste chocolaty and creamy.  The texture was just a bit too soft. Maybe I should cook the mixture a little past 243 F to get a more solid caramel?

For a first attempt at making my own caramels, I’m thrilled with the outcome. That is, until I put on 10 lbs from eating them all!

Coming up:  Do something a little different with those chocolate caramels you just make.  A cookie recipe. Watch for it!

Do you like caramel? Toffee?  or are you simply a chocolate lover with nothing added?

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7 Comments

  • At 2012.01.30 08:51, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

    Caramel? Yes
    Toffee? Yes
    Chocolate? Yes

    Not really picky when it comes to my sweets. Generally if it has sugar, I will eat it. Well… provided it’s not blue or green. Those colors in sweets bother me. 🙂

    Never heard of Fleur de sel. Learning something new!
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..Getting Used to ThingsMy Profile

    • At 2012.01.30 10:36, Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D said:

      Oh, *swoon*
      There are few things I like better than a really nice chocolate with a sprinkle of salt. And, since I would rather have 1 piece of really nice chocolate that melts for-ever in your mouth…than a whole pound of so-so chocolate, these would be lovely.

      Really short ingredient list, too.
      Pinned it so I can try it!

      ~ Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D
      Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D´s last blog post ..Our Jimmy John’s Kitchen (Part 3)My Profile

      • At 2012.01.30 18:52, Sophie said:

        Waw! Home-made caramels!

        I haven’t tried that in a long time! Your endresults say it all: EAT ME RIGHT NOW! Yumm!
        Sophie´s last blog post ..Two Home-made cashew milksMy Profile

        • At 2012.01.30 22:51, The Green Girl said:

          I’m not much of a chocolate fan but give me a milk chocolate salted caramel, and I go a little crazy. ::drools::
          The Green Girl´s last blog post ..Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 恭喜發財My Profile

          • At 2012.01.31 11:42, Peggy said:

            Joanne, those look amazing. I have messed up caramel every time I have ever tried to make it. I would love to attempt to make these, but with my past experience I am a fraidy cat. LOL Yours look very professional. Your photos just keep getting better and better too. Have a great week. I’m making the chicken wings tonight I think for Carlas.

            • At 2012.02.01 20:42, Kris said:

              Oh. My. This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

              • At 2012.02.02 15:14, Desiree said:

                Wow- that looks incredible delicious and I think I need to wipe the drool of my chin! I’ll definitely have to make these in the near future!

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