It starts to look like a white Christmas in Canada with snow although there are still 14 more days to go. People go crazy with shopping, decorating and making special plans for the holidays. This year I have decided to make some homemade foods such as Salted Caramel Toffee for giving away to family and friends – nothing can beat homemade comfort foods.
1 1/2 cups whipping cream (you can use condensed milk to cut cooking time)
1 cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup natural Coconut sweetener (I try to keep somewhat healthy but you can use brown sugar)
1/3 cup pure honey (Corn syrup or Maple syrup is fine to use too)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or kosher salt)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Other ingredients: parchment paper (I have never seen anything that stick on parchment paper), square or triangle mold, spatula, an ice water bowl, and a cooking pot (in large size)
Over medium heat, put whipping cream, granulated white sugar, coconut sweetener and honey in the cooking pot. Stir gently and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes. During the cooking time do not stir the sugar mixture.
Now this is an interesting but important step – Use a teaspoon to get some caramel sugar liquid and drop into an ice water bowl. The ice water will make the caramel sugar drops cool down quickly; feel its texture. If caramel is firm but still somewhat soft and chewy, that’s the right texture you should get (we don’t want it too hard like rock or too runny)
Add unsalted butter, sea salt and vanilla extract, and then stir to blend all ingredients well together. Cook for 5 more minutes, the caramel should have an amber dark brown color.
Turn off heat. Carefully pour on to a mold that was covered with parchment papers. Leave it cool down in room temperature (usually it takes about 3 hours).
When the caramel completely cool down and has a firm, smooth and soft texture, cut it into bite sizes and wrap carefully in parchment papers.
Store in cool place, but if you want to keep for couple months, I recommend you to store in a fridge.
It has a sweet taste with a little twist of salt, which make Salted Caramel Toffee become tastier and balance in flavors. You can win anyone’s heart who has a serious sweet tooth (Trust me! It works all the time)
If the Salted Caramel Toffee doesn’t turn out the way you want, just don’t give up. It takes me couple times to meet the right texture, and I find candy thermometer won’t help much, it may even make you more confused. It is funny that I have to go back to the basic of how to cook with caramel I had learned from my grandma. In fact, she can use chopsticks to dip in caramel liquid, tries to rub the tip of chopsticks together, and then she knows if it ready or not. However, I have to use the ice water method; I guess I am not that professional in cooking like my grandma yet.
Having yourself joyful, lovely and happy Holidays with your love ones!!