Chef Tess, this one's for you!
Fleur de Sel is salt that is hand-harvested from seabeds in Brittay, France.
Ironically this recipe comes from one of my chocolate cookbooks (Yes, I collect chocoalte cookbooks. Why wouldn't I?!?), Chocolate Obsession.
Fleur de Sel Caramels
flavorless vegetable oil for the pan
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split horizontally
1 c heavy whipping cream
2 T corn syrup
1 T butter
1/2 t fleur de sel, in fine grains
- Line the borrom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. lightly coat the paper and the sides of the pan with flavorless vegetable oil.
- Put the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Use an unlined copper pot if you have one. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pot. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occaisionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts. Then continue to cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns dark amber, 5 to 6 minutes. To check the color, dab a small amount of the syrup on a white plate. if any crystals form on the sides of the pan as teh sugar darkens, wash them down with a wet pastry brush.
- While the sugar is cooking, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar is the correct shade, stir in the corn syrup. Remove the pot from the heat and put a sieve or splatter guard over it. Wearing an oven mitt, slowly pour the hot cream into the sugar syrup a little at a time. The mixture will sputter and foam. Be careful, as it is very hot.
- When the bubbling subsides, return the pan to medium heat and cook undisturbed until the mixture registers 252 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, immediately add the butter, and stir with the wooden spootn. Add the salt and stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and let cool at room temperature.