It’s officially that time of year again; the lights are up, the ads are out, the nights are getting boozier… it’s Christmas whether you like it or not.
Sure, some might say it’s a bit early to get the Christmas paraphernalia out, but I for one am all over it – give me a gingerbread latte with a shot of whisky and I’ll be marvellously content cozied up in my Slanket* with Home Alone 2 on repeat.
(Also, December: the only month where you can get fat gracefully.)
You may remember last year I posted a similar recipe and moaned about how broke I tend to be at this time of year (I absolutely needed three of those cashmere jumpers, didn’t I), so it’s fair to say I get a little resourceful with my gift giving. Enter these beauties, chocolate covered and deliciously decadent. These really aren’t as daunting as they may seem, it’s more a case of patience and trying not to burn yourself, the caramel, or your pan.
So there you have it, I’ll leave you with this bomb recipe to add to your budget Christmas 101 repertoire – plus a pretty great soundtrack to go with it (courtesy of Cereal Magazine)
*the best gift ever received, not giving it up never ever ever
Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels
Makes around 60 caramels
150g soft light brown sugar
125g golden syrup
100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
250ml thick double cream
150g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate
Decorative sugar pieces (if using)
You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe.
Firstly prepare a tin for your caramel to set in by lining it with parchment paper.
In a pan add the brown sugar, golden syrup, butter and cream and place over a low heat. Heat the mixture until smooth and hot, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
In a heavy duty pan add the caster sugar and 3 tablespoons of water, and start to dissolve over a low heat. Once dissolved you can bring the heat up a little, keep melting the sugar syrup until it caramelises and turns amber in colour. NOTE: You don’t want to stir the syrup unless there are specific spots where the sugar isn’t melting, rather whirl the pan.
Once the sugar syrup has caramelised and turned a gorgeous dark amber colour, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream mixture, while exercising caution – this stuff is H O T.
Put the pan back on the heat and pop your candy thermometer in. Bring the mixture up to 260°f and then immediately remove from the heat and pour into your prepared tin (if you fancy it you can sprinkle all or half with salt flakes).
Leave (out of the fridge) for at least 5 hours or overnight before cutting into small squares.
To chocolate coat the caramels, melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl set above a pan of simmering water. Once melted, use a fork to dip a caramel square into the chocolate, then lift it out and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the square on parchment paper to set, and decorate with sugar pieces if using. Continue with the rest of the caramels.
These will keep for a good 2 weeks stored in an air-tight container.