Sunday, 1 August 2010

Soft and Chewy Caramels

Well - last night was a late one. My dishwasher was away camping (lol). Oliver was asleep ....and I was skiddling around in the kitchen. This was one of two projects - but I've yet to do the photos of the other, so that will need to wait.

I've been meaning to try making caramels for a while and it's one of those things I've just never got round to doing.

The recipe for this came from and was posted by Barbara. There were lots of positive and quite a number of negative views - a good number of people seemed to struggle to get the set they required. I boiled mine to 245 deg - it was perhaps a little too soft. I'll go a couple of deg more next time. I also reduced the butter content - so my tweaked version is below.


2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup golden syrup / corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint double cream
200g butter (salted)
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Add all ingredients to a very large, deep pot and bring to a steady boil. You will need a sugar thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature

Boil for approx 45 mins until the temperature reached 250deg (firm ball). I took mine off at 245 deg. My caramel set to soft and chewy - but was perhaps a smidging too soft.

I stupidly forgot to position the pan clip on my thermometer - so it's in the caramel ! I therefore used a silicone food rope / tie instead to rope it to the pot handle to keep it in place. Such handly little things. I use them for resealing various bags of nuts and dried fruit, bouquet garni as well as to hold together stuffed meat and fish.

Once ready, I poured my caramel into a silicone lasagne tray and a silicone 8" square brownie / fudge pan . Neither were greased. The original recipe calls for a 12 x 15" tray, well greased.

The next morning (or should we say 5 hours later...) I went to take my caramel from the moulds. I needed to run a blunt table knife round the top edge to free the caramel from the mould. I then inverted the mould and literally peeled out the caramel.

WARNING - this recipe makes a serious amount of caramel. If you cut it into large 1" square chunks, you will get approx 150 pieces. A 1" chunk is a substantial sized serving of this stuff.

I had enough to make 3 x gift boxes full, plus 4 gift bags (each bag had approx 15 bits) and more left over. This is ideal to do a good big batch for little home made Christmas gifts or hampers.

I made my gift box and bag above using some Kanban Butterfly card, Papermania Felt butterflies, silver flower brads, stick on jewels and some pink ribbon. I cut the heart out of the front and put some acetate behind

. For the boxes, I have a Crafters Companion Top Score Board which marks the lines and creates the box tops and bases to slot together. It's an invaluable bit of plastic !

Here is another of the gift boxes (click the image to enlarge) with more Kanban card, a stenciled butterfly, some flower embelishments and an enamelled brad.


  1. The caramel looks soo good Sarah....reminds me of the toffees I used to eat as a child. and what a great idea to pack them in gift boxes. There are going to be some very lucky people. :)

  2. Hello Zurin.

    The caramel turned out really well and I was quite pleased with my gift boxes too.

    I lack imagination for making home made cards, but do enjoy making pretty but simple gift boxes.

    I've just sent these in a parcel for my mum and grandmother. They should get them on Wednesday. I'll see them Thursday evening as am flying up to Scotland with Oliver on Thursday night until Tuesday for a short break :-)

  3. Your caramels look delicious! My mom used to make caramels every year at Christmas time and they were great. I've never made them but you make it look very easy so I must try! I'm wondering what the other project is...

  4. I've tried doing some more.... I reduced the evaporated milk to just over 1/2 a cup and made the rest of the volume up with Irish Cream Liquer.

    Took it off the heat at 250deg exactly and it's even better !

    Pam - do email me so I can send your cd :-)

  5. This looks super delcious Sarah....I would say extremely inviting chewing darling and wat beautiful gift box!

  6. Hey Sarah, too soft? They look delicious in the picture. I love that shine on them-so pretty! If I wasn't going on a no refined sugar binge, I would totally try making this. I've never really made candy besides fudge...I don't think (smile).

  7. Thank you Ananda and Stella.

    I'm away visiting my parents in Scotland at the moment. I brought the caramel with me ..... and there is very little left ! Seems to be popular :-)

  8. I never thought of making caramels, I always thought it too difficult! thanks for showing us a great way to make caramels at home! I can see where those silicon molds come in handy!

  9. What pretty packaging you've created for your caramels :D

    They do look finger licking good! :D

  10. it's stupidly easy with a sugar thermometer...

    Lightly butter the silicone moulds and it falls out when you turn them upside down. I reckon this will be a favourite for Christmas. Next time, I'll pour it on to a whole layer of roughly chopped brazil nuts. :-)

  11. Sarah, have I ever mentioned Caramel is my middle name? I won't have any problem with "a serious amount of caramel". Lucky recipients of that gooey goodness ... complete with pretty boxes. *Sniff*

    PS: The way you wrapped them up like sweets just made me think of Enid Blyton. For some strange reason. :D

  12. When I was young I attempted to make caramels but it was a disaster :) I burned a finger,broke a tooth,and ruined my mothers pan.I didnt know about candy thermometers back then :)Yours look really delicious!

  13. Ju - those wrappers are baking paper cut up. Took me ages and ages to cut that lot up. Hehe

    Ailsa - that sounds like a pretty horrific experience that no one would want to repeat ! These were tasty and surprisingly easy.

    Thank you both for stopping by.


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