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Topic: Chocolate Covered Caramels! *NOW WITH TUTE*  (Read 2092 times)
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Vallyncia
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« on: November 30, 2010 02:52:19 PM »


This Christmas I have decided to make everyone in my life candy as a present. After all, there is no such thing as too many treats at Christmas!!
The recipe I used is here:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Caramels/Detail.aspx

It was relatively easy, although more time consuming that I had anticipated. They are delicious and set really nicely over night in the fridge.

Recipe:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup butter
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
1.Grease a 12x15 inch pan.
2.In a medium-size pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter. Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring. When the thermometer reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) remove the pot from the heat.
3.Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let the mixture cool completely. When cooled cut the Carmel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.

First, you need to make the caramels several hours before you dip them in chocolate (I made mine the night before and left them in the fridge to cool).
The caramels take a fairly long time to boil to the appropriate point (120 degrees Celcius), probably about 20 minutes. Be careful to remove them from the heat as soon as they hit this point, however, as they quickly burn after this temperature. It really helps to have a digital candy thermometer, although they are more expensive (mine was about $30). You could try with a cheaper plastic one, but be very watchful!

I poured them into the pan and let them set overnight in the fridge. Now, we didn't try this but it might be a helpful tip for next time - instead of just buttering, line the pan with wax paper and use that to life the entire sheet of caramels out when you want to cut them. I think this would make it easier to cut the caramels into uniform shapes. Mine ended up being very randomly sized Smiley


I made a second batch of caramels and gave them away just like this, wrapped in cellophane paper with a ribbon.

Super easy and fun gifts, and they taste awesome.  However, if you want to go the extra mile:
After being cooled and cut,

 we then prepared the chocolate...
We bought some high quality chocolate in bulk (at the Superstore in Canada, although I'm not sure what stores would sell such a thing in other countries, possibly Wal-Mart). Chocolate chips would also work, we just used bricks because the quality of the chocolate is generally higher and the chocolate itself is usually fresher.
We shaved the chocolate and then melted it in a make-shift double boiler. We used a metal bowl that fit snugly over a pot, although other configurations (or an actual double boiler, haha) would work as well. It is important that the boiling water is kept from getting into the bowl with the chocolate, because that will ruin the consistency. (Sorry I don't have any pics of this process).
It is also best to do the chocolate coating in a cool, dry room. Heat and moisture will encourage the chocolate to seperate, which, while not affecting the taste, will affect the appearance of your candy.
We melted in small batches (probably 200 to 300 grams at a time) and once the chocolate was ready we sat down with a pile of caramels and dipped them by hand into the chocolate mixture. Obviously VERY clean hands are essential at this point. Make sure you keep stirring the chocolate as you dip to keep it from seperating. This process takes some practice to do consistently and it gets very messy, but it's also tons of fun!
We also melted some white "chocolate" (which as we all know is really just candy!) and drizzled it on some of the candies for a fancified effect.

The chocolates will be dry enough to move in about half an hour. You can tell they are ready when they lose their glossy finish.
If any of your chocolates get a whiteish finish it is because the chocolate did seperate a bit. Hopefully this doesn't happen but if it does, it won't affect the flavour, only the appearance.
I will be adding more pictures shortly. Hope this is clear, but if anyone has any questions please let me know!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010 01:47:16 PM by Vallyncia - Reason: Adding pictures and a tute! » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Calabaza
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010 03:34:54 PM »

Mmm, caramels. It looks great! Thanks for the recipe!
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Cheriepea
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010 11:10:49 AM »

Mmm looks yummy! Great idea to give out as Christmas gifts.

Does the caramel middles turn out hard or soft?

Thanks for sharing!

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Vallyncia
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010 01:48:58 PM »

At room temperature the caramels (without chocolate) hold shape but are a little gooey. i would say that their consistency is the same throughout (it isn't harder on the outside than on the inside). I have been keeping them in the fridge for the most part, although it is nice to let them warm up a bit before you eat them. Right out of the fridge they are harder and don't taste quite as caramel-ly. I've been packaging them up in cellophane paper for gift giving and it's been working really well Smiley
INSIDE the chocolate (as I realized after my initial post you were probably asking about, lol) it stays soft. They kind of melt in your mouth - personally I like them waaaay better than the kind you usually get in chocolate boxes were the caramel is hard and you have to gnaw it apart.
If you boiled it longer the caramel would probably get firmer (more like toffee) but you would need to be really careful b/c the caramel burns really easily at such high temperatures.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010 01:52:48 PM by Vallyncia - Reason: Misunderstood question, I think :) » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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steph_patt
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2010 01:53:48 PM »

Those look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe too. I think I might make some to put in my cookie baskets this year.
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jl409
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010 04:22:07 PM »

Yumm!! TUTE please!! Smiley
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Vallyncia
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010 08:56:50 AM »

K, I hope to post the Tute this weekend. Christmas is such a crazy time of year and I'm in the midst of finishing up my first swap, so of course that must take priority  Wink
Hope everyone is enjoying the season!
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jl409
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2010 08:22:48 PM »

Thank you! I can't wait to try them! I know how busy this time of year is though Smiley
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jl409
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010 06:30:50 PM »

WOW!!! THank you! I'm so excited to try them!
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Vallyncia
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2010 11:08:50 PM »

I lied, I'm not actually adding more pictures  Smiley It's probably picture heavy enough already.
Please let me know if you have any further questions!
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To be happy is to be creating.
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