How to Make Chocolate Caramels
4 of 7 in Series: The Essentials of Halloween Treats to Make with Kids
Homemade chocolate caramels make inexpensive and easy-to-cook holiday gifts. Incorporating chocolate into this recipe adds a delightful chocolate flavor to an already delicious caramel.
Homemade Chocolate Caramels
Preparation time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour to cool
Yield: 1-3/4 pounds or about 75 pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 ounce shortening
Pinch of salt
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick paper.
Nonstick paper can be wax paper or parchment paper. The finished caramel should be about 3/4 inch. If you want the pieces to be thicker, use a smaller pan.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, cream, shortening, and salt in a 4- to 5-quart saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to blend and to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
When the batch comes to a boil (about 25 minutes), the batch will boil up in the pot due to the milk and cream. Be careful not to boil over. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash sugar crystals down the inside of the pot. Clip a thermometer on the side of the pot, being sure that the tip doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. Continue to boil over low heat.
Washing down the sugar crystals that form on the inside of the pot is important if you want smooth caramels. Otherwise, you'll end up with grainy, gritty candy.
After the batch boils up, it will boil back down. Stir continuously after the batch lowers. Do not allow the batch to scorch.
When the batch reaches 234 degrees F (after another 15 minutes of cooking), remove it from the heat, remove the thermometer, and stir in the chopped chocolate to blend. The blending and melting take 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the lined baking pan and allow it to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Cut the batch into approximately 3/4-inch squares, making about 75 pieces. Wrap each piece in a square of wax paper to prevent pieces from sticking to each other.