Salt 'n' caramel.

I have always loved caramel. It’s slightly rich, totally buttery and luxuriously smooth. My love is so great I don’t even mind that it gets completely stuck to my teeth – that’s just one of its many charms.

In my youth I was known to snack on the Kraft caramels that are available this time of year meant for covering apples. They never made it that far in our house. They were kept in a drawer where I would slowly deplete the supply day by day.

While it’s been a few years since I’ve scarfed down a bag of the Kraft variety my love for caramel is still strong – only now I like it with a smattering of sea salt – classy, right? What can I say, my taste buds are maturing.

It seems I’m not the only one…this salty sweet flavor combo is quite popular. Showing up in pies, cookies, brownies, popcorn, and of course, ice cream. Speaking of which – if you haven’t tried Jeni’s salty caramel ice cream run out and buy a pint right now. I’m not just hawking it because she’s from Ohio and so am I – hers is truly the best version I’ve had to date. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait…

So here I present to you the classic fleur de sel caramel. Simple, elegant and oh so good. Wrapped individually these would be a perfect take away gift at your next supper club or just keep them in a drawer and snack on them as you please.

Note: I recently tried a variation of this recipe with the addition of soy sauce hoping for an even richer and saltier caramel. Saltier indeed. They were a bit overpowering. The caramel treat ended up tasting a bit too much like last night’s take out. Let’s stick to the classic shall we?

recipe adapted from epicurious

Equipment: candy thermometer, 8” square pan, 2 saucepans

1 cup heavy cream
5 T (2.5 oz.) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 T, 1t fleur de sel, divided
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water

*Tip: When dealing with caramel – gather everything you need before you begin – you don’t want that beautiful caramel turning into a big ol mess of burnt sugar while you run to the fridge to measure out heavy cream. Okay, you’ve been warned. Let’s begin.

Line the bottom of an 8” square pan with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Bring cream, butter and 1 t fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat and set aside.In a medium sized heavy saucepan bring sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil. As the color of the hot sugar begins to turn color gently swirl the pan to insure even cooking. Once it’s reached a golden brown (careful not to take it to a burnt brown) remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream mixture. Careful now, it will bubble up. Place back on the heat and simmer until the caramel reaches 248°on the candy thermometer.Pour into the prepared 8” pan and cool for an hour. Top with the remaining T of fleur de sel and cool for an additional hour before cutting.Once cool and set cut into 1-inch pieces and wrap with wax paper, twisting the ends to close.Share with friends and coworkers. Or don’t.