It is time for the annual making of the Fleur de Sel caramels. I have the recipe down pat; one cup of heavy cream, 5 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel salt, 1/4 cup of light corn syrup, 1/4 water, 1 1/2 of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. The heavy cream, salt and butter are brought to a boil and then taken off the heat while the sugar, corn syrup and water are brought to a boil and to the desired caramel color. The hot cream mixture is poured into the sugar mixture, it will roil up violently and this is when the vanilla is added, with a wooden spoon the mixture needs to be stirred until the caramel registers at 248F on a candy thermometer. This is always the tricky moment, a few seconds too soon or a few seconds too late and your caramel will be different: either perfect or too hard or too soft, like I said it is tricky; basically I don’t quite have the technique down pat.
This is why I say my hat is off to the artisanal chocolate and candy makers, it is hard work in a professional space, but even more challenging in the home because you might not have all of the proper equipment and for those who are starting their small businesses, it seems almost impossible to juggle your normal demands on top of new candy orders. I had made pizza for dinner and then I took my cooled off batch of caramels out to cut up into pieces, dip into Fleur de Sel and then wrapping each piece individually in foil-lined parchment paper. This part isn’t difficult just a little tedious, I am lucky that I don’t get tempted by the caramel because then the job would be even more challenging. lol. :D
One batch of caramels yields about 50 to 60 pieces; I can just imagine how overwhelming it can be if you are lucky enough to have say 20 batches to make, at the home how would you figure out how to make the twenty batches, do you double up on the recipe and make two batches ten times or do you take the time to figure out how to bulk up the recipe, but that is a whole other ratio problem to tackle. I admire these entrepreneurs very much and I haven’t even gotten past the surface in terms of challenges.
I am happy making my small batches of whatever tickles my fancy; I don’t think that going beyond my small circle would give me more satisfaction. Often bigger doesn’t mean better.