Did I get your attention with the words “homemade caramel candy”? And did I lose your attention with the word “clotted cream”?
I understand. People have a hard time with the word “clot.” It’s right up there with the word “moist.” But clotted cream is nothing to be grossed out by. In fact, it’s something to go gaga over! And when was the last time you went gaga over an item of food that contained only a single ingredient? In essence, clotted cream is the magnificent result you get from slowly cooking heavy cream until all the cream condenses into
clots pillows. That’s it! Clotted cream is nothing more than pillowed cream. And who doesn’t love the word “pillow”?
If you happen to have any of this delectable pillowed cream left over from your scones and tea nosh fest, it’s excellent for making creamy homemade caramel candy. It’s another treat to go gaga for!
Kahlua Salted Caramel Candy
For starters, allow me to give credit to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for this simple homemade caramel candy method. The results were just as consistent with my ingredient changes as they were with the original recipe.
To begin, let’s talk tools for making homemade caramel candy. The three main ones are:
- A heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan or pot: A MUST! Heavy-bottomed pots make the caramel-making world go round. **(I use this one.)
- A candy thermometer: Convenient, but not necessary if you follow my trick below.
- An 8×8 glass dish lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Preparing the Caramel
Now that you have your 3-quart heavy-bottomed pot, place the following in it:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons room-temperature salted butter
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup clotted cream (find the recipe here or just use heavy cream)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking the Caramel
Since I’m not using a candy thermometer…because I don’t own one…because I’m not gadgety, here is how I cook and test my caramel without one:
- Place pot over low heat and stir a couple times until the butter is completely melted. Do not rush this stage by turning the heat up.
- Keep heat on low and cook until the mixture comes to a steady boil.
- Continue to cook for 10 minutes until caramel begins to thicken. (If you have a thermometer, the temperature should reach 240˚F.)
- Fill a small bowl with ice water.
- Dip a wooden spoon into the caramel and drizzle the mixture in the ice water.
- Take the caramel between your fingers and roll it into a ball. If it holds a soft ball shape it’s ready for the next step! If the caramel is too soft and slips through your fingers, cook the caramel another 5 minutes and test again.
Congratulations! You just complete the first half of this caramel-making adventure. On to the second half!
- Carefully stir in another 1/2 cup clotted cream into the caramel; mixture will bubble.
- Over low heat, bring the caramel to another boil and cook for another 10 minutes until firm-ball stage. (Or until thermometer reads 250˚F.)
- Test your caramel again using the ice water trick from above to make sure it’s at the firm ball stage.
- The caramel is ready if it holds a firm ball shape in your fingers. If not, cook another 5 minutes and then test again.
Turn heat off immediately, stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons Kahlua liqueur or quality vanilla extract and pour caramel into your 8×8 lined dish.
Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of sea salt all over the top of the caramel and let cool at room temperature. Then chill in fridge for a couple hours until firm enough to cut.
Lift caramels out of dish by the paper and cut into pieces of desired size. I like to make 11 cuts across and 3 cuts down to make 96 pieces. Then I like to schprinkle extra sea salt over each piece before wrapping them individually in small squares of waxed paper.
96 pieces may sound like a lot, which can be a good thing if you are distributing a batch as Christmas gifts.
Or a bad thing if you are keeping the entire batch for yourself.
Or a good thing if you’re keeping the entire batch for yourself. hee hee
After all, tis the season to be
clotty, I mean naughty.
Have a wonderful holiday season! Big love to you all!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 cup clotted cream or heavy cream, divided
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Kahlua or quality vanilla extract
- Wax or parchment paper
- Line an 8×8 glass baking dish with parchment or wax paper, making sure the paper reaches over the sides of the pan. This extra paper will act as handles” when you lift the caramel out of the dish.
- In a heavy-bottomed 3-quart pot, add sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and HALF of the clotted cream or cream. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring a couple times until the butter has melted. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over low heat. For the best results, you don’t want to heat this mixture too fast so keep the heat low and steady! Continue cooking (no need to stir) for about 15 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, cook to soft ball stage or 240˚F.
- NO CANDY THERMOMETER? If you don’t own a thermometer, have a bowl of ice water nearby. Carefully drizzle 1/4 teaspoon of the caramel mixture into the water, then take the caramel and roll it into a ball. If it’s soft but holds its shape, it’s ready for the next step. If it slips through your fingers and doesn’t hold its shape, cook another 5 minutes and test again.
- Once caramel has hit soft ball stage, carefully add the remaining half of clotted cream or cream. Mixture will bubble violently so be careful! Stir to combine and return to a boil over low heat. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the caramel has reached firm ball stage or 250˚F. If using the ice water, a drizzle of caramel should hold a firm ball shape when rolled up.
- Turn off heat and add Kahlua. Stir to combine and then quickly pour caramel into lined dish. Sprinkle the top of the caramel with sea salt and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in fridge for a couple hours until firm. Cut into desired size pieces. Wrap caramels in small pieces of parchment paper. Store in a cool, dry place or in fridge.
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