Grease 8 in. square tin and line with baking paper
Greasing and lining the pan with baking paper before making the caramels is important to ensure that they do not stick in the pan. Once they have cooled, they can be easily removed from the pan and should not stick to the baking paper.
In large saucepan, add palm kernel oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, condensed milk, and glucose syrup and place on a low heat. Stir until ingredients have melted and combined.
Ingredients are combined on low heat to help them mix properly to ensure that the final product will have an even consistency. The even distribution of ingredients is also important in order to keep crystallization to a minimum throughout the candy. The heat is kept low during this step so that the actual caramelization process does not begin before mixing is complete.
Bring caramel to boil, stirring constantly. Check temperature after 5 minutes with a thermometer, trying to reach 240 F
While the granulated sugar, glucose syrup, sugars in the condensed milk, and brown sugar caramelize around 320-340 F, it is important for the recipe to heat them to only around 240 F. For the purposes of making caramel candies, this lower temperature is used to keep them from fully caramelizing or burning. If the sugars are brought to too high a temperature, they will become hard and have a higher amount of crystallization than desired. A thermometer is used in order to check that the caramel has heated to the proper temperature throughout. Once the temperature hits 240 F, the heat is turned off. The vanilla extract must be added after heating so that it doesn’t lose its flavor properties, but before the caramel begins to solidify so that it is able to mix with the other ingredients.
Pour caramel into tin and sprinkle the top with sea salt. Leave tin in the fridge for at least 1 hour
Salt is sprinkled on at the end to keep intact salt crystals on the top of the caramel. This will provide a small contrast in both flavor and texture in the final candy. Placing the caramel in the fridge to cool as opposed to leaving it out is important because the faster cooling gives crystals less time to for in the candy and will help the final product be smoother.
The butter in the original recipe was used for its fat content, providing flavor and softening/smoothing the caramel. In this recipe, the butter is replaced with an equal amount of palm kernel oil. Palm kernel oil has a high solid fat content and will have similar effects on the caramel candy’s consistency, though the milk fat in butter would provide a different flavor and potentially reduce crystallization further. The high percentage of solid fat in palm kernel oil will help the candy maintain its shape at room temperature while keeping it soft and non-sticky.
- Grease 8 in. square tin and line with baking paper
- In large saucepan, add palm kernel oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, condensed milk, and glucose syrup and place on a low heat. Stir until ingredients have melted and combined.
- Bring caramel to boil, stirring constantly. Check temperature after 5 minutes with a thermometer, trying to reach 240 F
- Keep on heat and stir constantly until the caramel reaches 240 F, then remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla extract
- Pour caramel into tin and sprinkle the top with sea salt. Leave tin in the fridge for at least 1 hour
- Remove tin from fridge, let it sit for around 10 minutes, and cut into small squares
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Mendenhall, H., & Hartel, R. W. (2016). Effects of fat content and solid fat content on caramel texture attributes. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 93(9), 1191–1199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11746-016-2871-0
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