Bacon & Sea Salt Caramels
This week is the second part of my bacon giftapalooza (if you missed part one check it out here) and it’s time for the main event – Bacon & Sea Salt Caramels. These caramels are soft, chewy, crunchy, sweet & salty all at the same time. A rich dark and chewy caramel, paired with crunchy bacon pieces, and salty fleur de sel sprinkled on top. The perfect combination of salty and sweet, they really are my happy place!
This recipe comes from Billy Law at A Table for Two. And I have to note that when cooking recipes for the first time I usually follow it to the letter, and then once I’ve tried it, I can’t help but start to think about what I would change up next time to make it better. I followed this Bacon & Fleur de Sel Salted Caramels recipe to the letter, but even after my 17th piece I still couldn’t think of anything that I would want to change, it is perfect just as it is, it is ah-mazing!
Bacon & Sea Salt Caramels
Recipe by A Table for Two
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 1/4 cup glucose
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 80g salted butter
– 1tsp vanilla extract
– 3-4 slices bacon, rind removed
– Sea salt flakes
Place the bacon on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cook in a 200C oven for 20mins, or until cooked and very crisp. Set aside to cool.
Line the base and sides of a 20x20cm square baking dish with aluminium foil and then spray with cooking oil. A handy tip here is to line the bottom with a strip of baking paper (under the aluminium foil) letting it come up the sides so that you have something to hold on to later on when removing the set caramel, as the foil tends to tear if the caramel is hard to remove.
Place the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan over a med-high heat, do not stir the mixture. If you need to, swirl the pan instead. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue cooking until it reaches a warm amber colour. It is important not to be impatient on this step, if you try to rush it by increasing the heat it will burn. And make sure you let it become a rich warm amber colour (if you are not sure it’s dark enough, chances are it’s not, give it another 30-45secs and you’ll see it become a nice rich amber).
Whilst you are waiting for the sugar mixture to colour, place the cream and butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Heat until the butter has melted and the mixture just starts to bubble. Take it off the heat, stir through the vanilla extract and set aside to cool slightly.
When the sugar mixture has reached the required colour, slowly pour the cream into the sugar, be careful here as it will splatter and bubble up quite a lot. Stir it thoroughly with a wooden spoon, then insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 248F / 120C.
When it has reached temperature, carefully pour it into the prepared tin and leave it to cool at room temperature for 2-3hrs. Once cooled, cut the crispy bacon into small pieces, and sprinkle over the caramel. Press the bacon pieces down just slightly to ensure the bacon is stuck to the caramel. Cover and transfer to the fridge to set overnight.
Once set, take the caramel out from the fridge and leave it to sit at room temperature for around 30mins, this just makes it easier to cut. Carefully remove the caramel from the pan, and peel off all the foil from the base and sides. Cut the caramels into around 48 pieces, and then sprinkle a few sea salt flakes on the top of each piece. Cut some baking paper into squares and wrap each caramel individually. But try not to keep stuffing them in your gob while your wrapping like I do!