One of my closest friends, Mary, introduced me to Fleur de Sel caramels, Fleur de Sel is the first harvest of sea salt out of the tidal pools in Brittany, France. In France these caramels and the concept of bringing sweet and salty together have been around for a long time, but not in the crazy, hyped up way they currently are right now. These caramels were local to the Brittany and Normandy regions of France. Now we can find them anywhere. When my friend told me about her appreciation for these caramels and the special trip that she used to make to Canada to find them, I decided to try to make them myself and it has become a tradition ever since.
So yesterday right before I started to making cookies, I made the caramels. It isn’t hard, just tricky because you are dealing with molten sugar. In one saucepan, you bring heavy cream, butter and 1 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel salt (actually I didn’t have any, so I used my special batch of Sel de Rose) and in another saucepan, bring a little water, cane sugar and corn syrup to a boil until it becomes a golden color and the cream mixture is poured into the boiling sugar. Here is where it gets tricky, it froths up violently so with a wooden spoon, mix it down to an active manageable boil, keep stirring with a candy thermometer until you get to 248 degrees, it will take about 10 minutes or so. Tricky is still the operative word because if you let it go hotter, the caramel will becomes a hard caramel instead of the chewable caramel that it should be. I was successful this time, one year I had to make it three times over, that was a nuisance. Anyway, once the caramel mixture was poured into the glass loaf pan lined with parchment paper, into the refrigerator it went to cool off and set for at least two hours. Last night I cut up the caramels, dipped them in Rose petal imbued salt crystals, and wrapped them in parchment paper. My friend’s Christmas present is all set and I have extra for the babies to enjoy as well.