I am obsessed with things that are Extremely Sweet and Extremely Spicy at the same time – call me an alien. (I guess that joke is lost on just about everyone out there – there probably isn't a Roswell fan anymore…) Anyways, my goal was to make candy that was sweet and spicy.
I got the flavor and it was great – the only thing is that the caramels are too hard for my liking. I wish they were a little softer.
I will share my beginning recipe here with everyone. It works and the caramels set up to hold their shape but I just think I should have not heated them to such a hard state but I'm no confectioner so it's just a trail and error.
I like this recipe because it doesn't use corn syrup. But maybe that's the reason the candy is a little tougher. I mean, a bite hard and pull off a piece of caramel, not a lovely soft bite into it and melts in your mouth.
Spicy Vanilla Caramels
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C Honey
1 Tb Vanilla extract
1 C Heavy Cream
1 Stick of Salted Butter
1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Combine the sugar, honey, vanilla and 1 tsp of Cayenne in a stainless steel pot, turn on Medium heat and let the sugar melt. It will cook until caramelized and have a dark brown color.
While that is cooking bring the cream to a simmer in another pot.
When the sugar mix is ready stir in chucks of butter, then add the warmed cream and whisk until smooth.
Cook until the temperature hits 260F, this is the hard ball stage, this is where I think I had my problems. It seemed for me to take a long time to get to this point. But I stirred it a lot in the beginning and that kept the temp down, so maybe it cooked too long. I'm not sure.
Right before it hit the 260F I dumped the remaining 1/2tsp of Cayenne in and stirred it gently in.
When it hit the magic number I poured the hot caramel onto a cookie sheet that was covered with parchment paper. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then if desired sprinkle Sea Salt on top just to taste.
Let the pan come to room temperature and then cut and wrap.
If there is anyone out there that makes caramels, i'd love to hear from you. If you try this I'd love to hear about your results! Good luck and try something new. Life is an adventure and the only way to learn is to try!
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