Chewy, slightly soft, very buttery, nicely salty. What more do you want?
- 170 mL cream
- 110 g golden syrup
- 180 g caster sugar
- 60 g salted butter
- 2 g salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Choose a pot that will leave plenty of room for the ingredients to bubble up, I used to use the middle size (18 cm) pot in my saucepan set, but lately I picked up a taller 15cm pot. The pot also needs to be narrow enough that the liquid height reaches the thermometer comfortably.
If you're using a glass candy thermometer in a metal housing, they usually sit right at the bottom of the pan, as the metal is designed to keep the bulb off the bottom of the pan. With a probe thermometer, you'll need to adjust the clip (before you put anything into the pot) such that it's at least 5mm off the bottom of the pot, otherwise you'll a) get the wrong temperature, b) damage the probe and break your thermometer.
Now that you have the right pot and the thermometer is adjusted, weigh all the ingredients, apart from the vanilla, into the pot. Put the pot on a medium heat and stir until all the sugar is disolved. Clip the thermometer to the pot and allow it to come to 125 °C. In the meantime, line a dish with baking paper (I use a 15 cm x 15 cm square dish).
As soon as it reaches 125 °C, take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into the prepared dish. Any bubbles can be moved with a spoon, or you can just ignore them. Let the caramel set overnight at room temperature. When set, the caramel can be sliced with a big knife. I usually slice off a row then make it into small pieces before cutting the next row, as when you go boldy into cutting the whole thing as a grid it tends to stick to itself.
At this point, the caramel will tend to absorb water and become sticky and start to melt. *shakes fist at the hygroscopic nature of sugar*
Either keep the caramels in an airtight container, separated with waxed papers, wrap them, or dip them in chocolate to ... ehh... protect them from the environment.
To make Ladies Mini Marathons, pour the caramel over 100g of salted roasted peanuts (in a slightly larger dish), then when it's set, cut it up and dip it in plain chocolate. After the cooled chocolate sits for a few seconds, touch the top with a fork to make tiny little pyramids on top. Even if the chocolate's not well tempered, or the caramels aren't fully coated, they still taste great and anyone who likes peanuts in caramel and chocolate will be demanding you make more of them, for practise of course.