Saturday, April 2, 2011

Honey Cream Caramels -- Sweet Melissa Sundays

Our first Sweet Melissa Sundays pick for April is a recipe for Honey Cream Caramels. Thank you to Carmen of Baking is My Zen for choosing this recipe! This was my first time making caramels. I've made caramel many times, but never the actual candies, usually just as part of a recipe or for a caramel sauce -- yum! I was very excited to give these a try.

Here are the ingredients in the pot. I made a half batch and the black you see is a slight alteration to the recipe, one added teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, since I love the flavor of vanilla with caramel and I thought it would be neat to see the little vanilla bean specs in the finished candy. This was on top of the vanilla extract that is added at the end of the recipe, so a double dose of vanilla.

In the photo above, the caramel mixture is almost at the correct temperature, just a few more minutes.

Time to pour the caramel out of the pot and into a foil lined 8 by 8 square pan -- I used a silicone pan. You have to move quickly during this process. When I was done I peeked in the pan and saw a Picasso-esque smiling face in the bottom of the pot with the caramel drips, do you see it? Maybe it's just me...

Here the caramel has solidified for a while and is out of the pan soon to be cut up and wrapped. It had a nice chewy texture and was delicious. I kept thinking it tasted like a Werther's Original candy, which I haven't had in ages, but that was what it reminded me of.

And there you have it, a vanilla bean honey cream caramel. What did we think? Well, first off, the texture was great after cutting and wrapping, but it did harden up quite a bit as it sat. I was expecting a softer caramel, so that was a little disappointing for me. I think part of the problem was that I made a half recipe so they weren't as thick and that made the harden up more. My husband and mom who tried these liked them and both said it reminded them of the old fashioned Slo Poke Candies, hard caramel pops on a stick that soften up and get chewy as you eat them. My youngest loved these and kept trying to sneak them out of the little squirrel candy dish. My older two were not so keen on these, I think they probably would have liked a softer candy.

All in all, I'd say it was a success, even though they weren't quite what I'd imagined. I have not yet tried the Chocolate Cream Caramel recipe in this book, which was similar ingredients (plus chocolate) and is taken off the heat a few degrees before this recipe is, possibly resulting in a softer caramel. Will have to give those a go soon, or just cook these again and make a full batch and maybe take them off the heat a little bit sooner than the recipe calls for.


Gloria said...

Yum...I bet the additional vanilla was delicious! I think you are right about the caramels being thin and causing them to harden up more. I found that I took my caramel off the heat the second it hit 250 and they turned out very soft. I would like to try the chocolate version next. I love the deep color on your caramels...they look great!

Ms Fifikins said...

I love your dish! Mine are so soft that they are now a mass at the bottom of my container! I should have wrapped them individually!

Tracey said...

Wow, I can't believe it was your first attempt Andrea! They turned out perfectly. Love your idea to add the vanilla bean paste. I have a huge jar I'm trying to work my way through and this would have been a great place to use some :)

Tessa said...

Mine were actually a little too soft despite getting to 250 degrees, so it sounds like we need to combine ours =)

I love the idea of additional vanilla. I will have to keep this in mind!

Madam Yussif said...

wow...i like your blog and i like your recipes so much :)
would be happy if you visit mine and leave me your blogs are also about food and cooking :)

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