I fell in love with French Salted Caramels without ever having tasted one. As soon as I became aware of their existence I wanted some but couldn’t find any in London (I’ve since been told that they can be found in Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason). I knew instinctively that they were going to taste wonderful and different to most other sweets – the addition of crunchy organic sea salt would make sure of that. Also, they are Barak Obama’s favourite sweets and from what I can see he’s a man with good taste.
Eventually I could wait no longer and decided I’d just have to make some. I’ve never been particularly good at sweets so my hopes weren’t overly high but they were, if I might say so, perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I had to get the damn things out of the house. They are evil. They are pure, unadulterated temptation. I was getting up and eating them in the night and that’s just wrong! I took the whole box to work and off loaded as many as possible but it was pointless. I just made more. Try them, if you dare.
I cup double cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
4 oz butter
1 tsp crunchy sea salt plus extra for sprinkling on top
You will also need:-
10 inch x 10 inch tray lined with buttered greaseproof paper
Gently melt the butter into the cream and at the same time put the sugar and golden syrup into a large heavy-bottomed pan over a low heat. The sugar will gradually melt and become liquid. You must not stir it. You can swirl the pan but stirring it is a no no. Once the sugar granules have all disappeared and the resulting caramel has started to bubble, slowly pour in the cream and butter mixture. Be careful, it may spit a bit. Now you can stir it! Add the salt and pop in your sugar thermometer.
Turn the heat down to a medium to low simmer and stir every 3 or 4 minutes. The temperature will creep up very gradually. Once it hits just below 260 farenheit/ 125 centigrade (I say just below because the pan holds heat and will take it up a degree even after the heat is turned off).
Pour it into the prepared tin. Wait five minutes, sprinkle with sea salt then allow to cool completely. It takes a large heavy knife to cut it up and it’s best to then wrap the pieces in squares of wax paper or greaseproof paper. It makes really nice gifts and believe me, it’s wise to get the majority of it out of the house asap.
Makes about 40 pieces, depending on how big or small you cut it.