Here is a recipe for making delicious cider and sea salt caramels. These caramels have a wonderful combination of sweet, salty, and apple flavors.
2 cups apple cider
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare the Pan: Line an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper. Make sure the paper hangs over the edges for easy removal.
Reduce the Cider: In a medium saucepan, heat the apple cider over medium heat. Simmer until it reduces to 1/3 cup. This can take about 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine Ingredients: In a separate saucepan, combine the heavy cream, butter, sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Once it's smooth, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
Cook to Soft Ball Stage: Continue to cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 244°F (118°C), which is the soft ball stage. This can take around 20-25 minutes.
Add Reduced Cider: Once you've reached the soft ball stage, remove the pan from heat and carefully stir in the reduced cider and vanilla extract. Be cautious as the mixture will bubble up.
Pour and Cool: Pour the hot caramel mixture into the prepared pan. Let it cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle some additional sea salt on top for that extra burst of flavor.
Cool Completely: Allow the caramel to cool at room temperature for a few hours or until it's set.
Cut into Caramels: Once the caramel has set, use a sharp knife that's been lightly greased to cut it into squares. You can wrap each caramel individually in parchment paper or wax paper.
Enjoy: Your cider and sea salt caramels are ready to enjoy! They make for a wonderful treat or gift.
Remember, making caramel can be a bit tricky, so it's important to use a candy thermometer to ensure it reaches the right temperature. Also, exercise caution when working with hot sugar mixtures, as they can cause severe burns. Enjoy your homemade caramels!