A delicious and decadent sweet treat!
Oh my. That’s pretty much all I could say after tasting these sweet gems. The texture is sublime and the subtle notes of maple and bacon make the flavour far more interesting than conventional caramels. I can assure you that if you can restrain yourself from eating them all, these beauties make a most excellent host or hostess gift. This recipe can also be used to make caramel sauce (equally giftable) to drizzle on cheesecake, ice cream, cupcakes and more; after whisking in the cream and bacon fat mixture, simply cook until the caramel is smooth then remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof jar. Like the candy version, the sauce can be refrigerated for up to two weeks; just reheat gently before serving. If you’re looking for a healthier but equally pretty sweet treat, check out my guilt-free truffle recipe.
- 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
- 5 tablespoons (64 g) bacon fat 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups (282 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water
- Flaky sea salt, to garnish
- Line an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small pot (or a glass measure in the microwave), warm the whipping cream and the bacon fat over medium heat; stirring and watching closely until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot (large enough to allow the sugar and cream mixture to triple in size as it boils), combine the sugar, maple syrup and water; stir.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, cook the mixture without stirring, until it reaches 330 F on an instant read thermometer – start checking the temperature when it begins to turn a light amber colour; it will be closer to a medium-dark amber when it reaches the desired temperature.
- When the sugar has reached temperature, with a large whisk in one hand, slowly drizzle in the hot cream and bacon fat, whisking constantly. It will bubble up and steam so do this step carefully.
- Once all of the cream mixture has been added, continue to cook the caramel over medium heat, whisking frequently, until it reaches 245F (this temperature will yield chewy caramels that hold their shape; cook to 255F if you want firmer caramels).
- Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let cool for 10 minutes then sprinkle the top with flaked sea salt and let sit, undisturbed, until set (about 3 hours at room temperature).
- Once set, it is helpful to refrigerate the caramel for at least an hour so it is thoroughly chilled; this makes it easier to cut.
- To cut, peel the parchment back from the sides and then off the bottom, transferring caramel slab to a large cutting board or other clean work surface. With a large, sharp knife, trim the edges of the caramel slab to square it up, reserving the edges for a ‘cook’s treat’. Carefully cut the caramel into small squares (about 3/4 inch or 2 cm) and place in small petit fours paper cups or wrap individually with wax paper or plastic wrap.
- Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.
Makes 1 pan of caramels.
I find caramel much too sweet, but just about everyone else in my family would adore these!
I cut them into really small squares and that seems to be an OK amount of sweet for me (I’m more of a savoury gal). 🙂
Just wondering if you’ve read Bacon the cookbook by Niamh Shields? So fantastic and full of amazing recipes!
I have not read it – will definitely look for it. Thanks for the tip!