CARAMEL….Need I say more?
Ok… I will. I had this wise idea to make homemade caramel this holiday season. Upon looking at a couple recipes I realized that pretty much all of them call for some FAKE FOOD. The culprits? Corn syrup and canned evaporated milk(what is that stuff anyway?). You would think I would be less and less surprised when I discover some of my favorite foods contain nasty ingredients. But…it gets me every. single. time. First I feel sad that our food industry has us unknowingly consuming GARBAGE and after feeling sad I get fiery! Chewy delicious buttery caramel cannot be ruined for me!
And that leads us here today….
After many failures in the kitchen(5 batches later) I have come up with a real food caramel recipe that ROCKS!
Before starting this recipe I HIGHLY recommend reading through it once or twice so you are familiar with each step. Once your caramel reaches a specific temperature you don’t want to have to check your recipe for the next step.
What you’ll need:
- A candy thermometer -like this
- 8 x 8 inch pan-like this
- 3 qt heavy bottom pot-like this
- parchment paper
- 2/3 cup honey
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup organic cane sugar or sucunat
- 1 teaspoon vanilla -buy it here
*Test your candy thermometer before starting this recipe. I ruined several batches before realizing my thermometer was off by 30 degrees. To test your thermometer, pour three cups of water into your pot. Your thermometer should be at 212 degrees when the water begins to boil. If it’s not at 212 degrees your thermometer is off. You need to re-calculate the temperature in the recipe based on YOUR thermometer’s boiling point. Make sense?
- Place parchment paper in your 8 x 8 pan and butter it well-set aside
- Mix together the heavy cream and milk to create half&half mixture
- In your pot, mix together 1/2 cup half&half, honey and sugar until combined
- Turn the heat on medium low and stir gently until it reaches a boil
- Place a lid on the pot and allow it to boil for 2 minutes
- Remove lid and with a pastry brush or washcloth-wipe down the sides of the pan to remove any crystalized sugar
- Continue to boil over medium low heat while stirring gently-do not let your spoon touch the sides of the pan
- When the sauce reaches soft-ball stage(234 degrees) slowly add 1/2 cup more half&half
- Continue to stir and allow the mixture to come back to soft-ball stage(234) and add the remaining half&half
- Keep stirring very gently and allow the mixture to continue to boil until it reaches hard-ball stage (244 degrees)
- Turn off the heat and add the vanilla
- Pour the caramel into your pan and DO NOT SCRAPE THE PAN CLEAN
- Allow to cool for 4-5 hours
- Cut into squares and ENJOY