I’ve been struggling with caramels and caramel sauce for a while. Which, of course, sounds absurd as there are so few ingredients that it hardly seems a tough recipe to follow. After a lot of trial and error, and a lot of sauce that was too runny, or caramels that were rock hard, I’ve finally sorted it out. It’s really all down to the length of time you let the sauce boil, and the heat you boil it at.
This recipe makes a lovely sauce, and chewy caramels. Next time I’m going to add mint extract to give them an extra zing!
Free From: Soya, Dairy, Eggs, Gluten
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time – 15 for sauce, 20 ish for caramels
½ cup Pure Sunflower margarine
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup coconut cream
½ cup golden syrup
¼ tsp sea salt (optional)
½ tsp vanilla
You need to pay attention to the sauce so don’t wander off to do anything else and leave it. If you have a thermometer keep it ready by the side. If you are making caramels then grease a baking sheet in preparation.
In a heavy bottomed pan place the sugar, syrup and margarine over a medium heat. As the margarine and sugars melt whisk the mixture until smooth. As the mixture starts to warm up grab a wooden spoon and give it a stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil but make sure it doesn’t boil over!
The mixture will start to thicken (keep giving it a good stir). Grab your thermometer and check the temperature. If it’s 230F then you’ve reached the right temperature for a nice sauce. Take it off the heat and add the coconut cream, vanilla and salt. Whisk and pop back on the heat and bring back to the boil for a minute or two. Pour the sauce into a contained to cool down and don’t touch the sauce as it’s blisteringly hot!
If you want caramels then continue to let the sauce boil until it reaches a heat of 245F, boil for a minute. Turn the heat down, and add in the coconut cream, vanilla and salt (if you are using) and whisk briefly. Pop it back on the heat and bring to the boil for a minute or two – the sauce will thicken again. Once it’s a glossy thick sauce then pour into a greased dish to cool.
Once cool cut into squares, or rectangles with a good pair of scissors. This is more work than it sounds! I’ve wrapped my caramels in grease proof paper but you can find some pretty candy wrappers if you want a shinier look!
If you don’t have a thermometer then have a glass of cold water ready by the side. Dribble a few drops of sauce into the cold water – if you can form a soft ball with a few flicks with your finger then it’s the right consistency for a sauce. If it forms a harder ball then it’s right for caramels. If you’re going for sauce, but over cook it (cough, ahem) then change plans and make caramels!
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