This Christmas I decided to make homemade caramels for the first time in my life. They turned out really well and Penguin loved them (as did I). When our first batch had been eaten, Penguin made it quite clear that more needed to be made, as a matter of urgency. The second batch was just as popular, and I feel it would almost be rude not to share this recipe with you all, so you too can enjoy some homemade chocolate caramels!
Although I generally like to get Penguin involved in cooking, baking etc, this particular kitchen project is one I prefer him not to help with. The caramel mixture gets very hot and sticky, and could cause some nasty burns. So unless your children are very careful and safety concious, I’d avoid having them near the hob when making these.
(Makes approx. 50-60 caramels)
125 grams sugar (we use regular granulated sugar)
5-6 tablespoons cocoa powder
100 ml double cream
100 ml golden syrup
100 grams butter or margarine (we use Stork)
+ a pinch of salt
Let’s get cooking!
Put sugar, cocoa, cream, syrup, butter/marge and a pinch of salt into a pan, and turn on to about medium heat. Stir it all together and keep stirring almost continously until it starts to bubble. Then lower the heat and let it simmer.
The mixture should be kept simmering until it reaches a temperature of about 125 degrees Celsius (c 250 F). The time needed to reach that depends on your pan, heat etc, but should be around 25-35 mins. If you don’t have a thermometer (we don’t), you can do a ’firm ball test’ to find out if the mixture is done: Drop a little mixture into cold water and see if you can make a ball of it (using your fingers). The ball should be fairly firm but still possible to flatten if you squeeze it. If it’s very soft, let it simmer for a few more minutes.
Once your caramel mixture is hot enough, pour it into a heatproof dish lined with baking paper (use a spoon to spread it out evenly). Then as soon as it sets, lift the baking paper with your caramel on onto a large cutting board or kitchen work top, and start cutting it into the size you’d like your caramels (I’d say don’t go too large or you’ll have too much of a mouthful). If you leave it to set completely it will become almost impossible to cut, so make sure to do that while it’s softish. I’ve found that scoring it with a large knife first and then cutting it with scissors has been a good method.
You can store your caramels with a piece of baking paper between each layer. Leave them in room temperature (they go very hard if put in the fridge), but you might like to find a goid hiding place so that they don’t all get eaten at once…
I hope you enjoy these chocolate caramels as much as we do! Any comments or questions are as always very welcome below x
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