Vanilla Bean Caramels

Can I just say that one of the hardest things to make is homemade Carmel…Holy crap! What a pain in the ass! Not going to hold back here but it sucks! But after the 5th try, it’s worth it and it tastes damn GOOD! I tried to make some home-made Carmel candies, and the reason I wanted too was because I wanted to make Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes for my friend Nicole R. for her birthday…

I recall last year for my birthday 11/11/11 I was really upset because I always make a cake for everyone’s birthday and I wanted to make one for myself and well I just couldn’t find the time and I was really upset and Nicole knew I was. So she plotted with my husband and she surprised me with a cheese cake at my birthday dinner, I think I cried because I had NO idea! So It really meant a lot to me that Nicole did what she did…Untitled

I honestly, I am not a big fan of cake as I make so many cakes and cupcake throughout the year. I like cheesecake and so yes the cake Nicole picked was a cheesecake another important detail that meant a lot to me…

I remember stuff like that. It meant a lot to me what she did and so I wanted to do something nice for her for her birthday this year and so I asked her…”So if anyone were to make cupcakes for you, what kind would really make your day” and she told me “Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes”. Oh lordy this was a challenge, and so I took it…

Normally I don’t post cupcake recipes and I am not in this case, just posting the recipe I used for the carmels.

Recipe

1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1¼ tsp. fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
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Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream,
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butter,
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vanilla extract,
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vanilla bean seeds, pods,
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and fleur de sel.
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Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar,
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corn syrup,
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and water.
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Heat over medium-high heat,
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stirring occasionally
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until the sugar is dissolved. Boil,
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without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.

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Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly. Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248˚ F on a candy thermometer.
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Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.
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(look what the process of making Carmel did to my spoon)
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hard as a rock, wouldn’t come off
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Let cool for 30 minutes,
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then sprinkle lightly with additional fleur de sel. Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well). Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.

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OK so at this point yes I did cut the carmels, but trying to pull them off the paper and place them on a cupcake and in the recipe notes it states:
When you are ready to serve, top each cupcake with a salted caramel if desired. (Depending on the specific caramels you use, they may slowly dissolve after being in contact with the frosting for a prolonged period of time, so adding them just before serving may be best.)

and I am like, I don’t have time for this…I have to drive these across town and it was pretty damn warm the day I was delivering the cupcakes. So I said screw it and took the caramel and put it back in a sauce pan and melted it down again and drizzled it over the cupcakes instead like so…
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I mean what The heck they were melting as I was pulling them apart and they would have melted more in the car. So at least this way I would just do the melting myself and make them look prettier.

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Nicole loved them!
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Happy Birthday!

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