The other day I got this intense craving for homemade caramels, which is strange because I don’t normally like caramels. But homemade caramels have this glorious richness to them, and I was reading a Victorian cozy mystery with caramels that had been made fresh that morning, and so I got the idea in my head and there was nothing to do but make caramels.
Several years ago I stumbled across this recipe from Inside a Black Apple, and it’s been my go-to ever since. I like playing around with it, and this time I think I struck gold with my Chai Caramel variation. Read on for the recipe!
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cups milk
- 2 teabags
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 3 cardamon pods, crushed very fine
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pink of salt (I prefer a large pinch)
- Crushed pistachios
Start with the whipping cream and milk in a heavy saucepan set on low heat; add the teabags, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg and simmer for about five minutes or so, stirring the whole time. After five minutes take out the teabags, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
Add the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and stir until everything is dissolved.
Turn the heat up to medium let the mixture bubble away until the candy thermometer reaches 240° (this makes a soft and chewy caramel, you could let it go all the way up to 250° if you prefer harder ones). Supposedly you only need to stir once in a while, but I’m super paranoid because both milk and sugar burn so easily, so I stir pretty much the whole time.
Once it’s at 240° remove it from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.
Pour it into an extremely well greased pan – if you want to make things as easy as possible line the pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper (this is what I usually do). I used an 8×8 pan this time but you can use a larger one if you’d like, just note that it will give you a thinner caramel. This is when I sprinkled on the crushed pistachios.
Let it cool for a few hours until it’s solid. Take it out of the pan and slice into bite sized pieces. Because this is soft and sticky you will need to wrap them individually in waxed paper to keep the pieces from sticking to each other. I prefer smaller pieces so I ended up with about 150 pieces of caramel, a perfect amount to share with friends and family.