- Prep time 10 minutes
- makes a TON of caramels (about 100)
Adapted from Martha Stewart. Deliciously creamy, perfectly chewy, and intensely chocolatey, these caramels have got it goin' on. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Test Kitchen Notes
If you're craving a huge batch of chocolate caramels, this recipe is for you. Better than anything store-bought, you won't be able to have just one of these. You do need to have a candy thermometer or an infrared laser thermometer to make sure that the caramel is at the correct temperature, but otherwise this recipe is very straightforward and fun to make. And be sure that you buy the highest-quality chocolate possible for the best results. The other ingredients you need are cream, corn syrup, granulated sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla extract, many of which you probably have already. Since this recipe makes so many caramels, you can easily halve it if you need a small batch and use an 8x8-inch pan.
To prevent the caramel from sticking, be sure that you don't skip the step of generously spraying the parchment with cooking spray, and if it's still not slicing cleanly, just pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. It's also ideal to make ahead, as the caramel has to sit for at least 12 hours and up to 24. Also, be sure to calibrate your thermometer before tackling this recipe. Erin says, "Leave [the thermometer] in ice water for 15 minutes and make sure it accurately reads 32°F. If your thermometer has the ability to be adjusted manually, do so." The ratios of corn syrup to bittersweet to dark chocolate are perfected here, and you won't have to worry about a gritty texture or caramels that are too soft. —The Editors
heavy cream, divided
4 1/2 cups
2 1/2 cups
light corn syrup
kosher salt, plus more
high-quality bittersweet chocolate (30% to 40% cacao)
high-quality very dark chocolate (70% to 80% cacao)
(2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Line a 16x12-inch baking pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Generously spray the parchment with cooking spray. Place the pan in a spot that is easily accessible, but where it won't be moved (the caramel will wrinkle if you move it before it has cooled completely).
- In a large pot, combine 2 cups of the cream, the sugar, corn syrup, and salt (be sure to use a large pot—cream has a tendency to boil over!). Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot (an infrared laser thermometer is pretty great, too). Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, over medium heat. Wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped into tepid water.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until the thermometer registers 220°F. Continue stirring and add the chocolate and butter (you may need to adjust the temperature to keep it at a rolling boil). Once the mixture has returned to a boil, gradually add the remaining 2 cups of the cream.
- Continue to boil, stirring constantly, until the thermometer registers 240°F to 245°F. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the caramel into the prepared pan (garnish with a sprinkling of additional salt, if using) and let sit, undisturbed and uncovered, for at least 12 hours and up to 24.
- When the caramel has cooled completely, spray a cutting board and knife with cooking spray. Unmold the caramels onto the cutting board and peel away the Silpat or parchment paper. Cut into rectangles or squares. Wrap in wax paper or parchment paper and store in a cool, dry place.