Salted Orange Cardamom Caramels – with or without pistachios or chocolate

February  3, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 40-50 Candies
Author Notes

I love caramel sauce and candy but I’m a bit intimidated by any recipe that requires me to use my candy thermometer. A strong craving for this combination of flavors sent me to the kitchen despite my fears and I am very pleased with the results. The pistachios are optional; I don’t think they add much more than a little crunch and color but some of my taste-testers disagree and urged me to leave the option in. A small drizzle of chocolate is also tasty and looks nice but is optional too. Inspired by Emily Luchetti’s Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream (A Passion for Ice Cream, Chronicle Books, 2006) and technique borrowed heavily from David Lebovitz Salted Butter Caramels (http://www.davidlebovitz...). Avoid Ultra-Pasteurized whipping cream and use cultured butter if possible. —Angela @ the well-worn apron

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, divided (I use Maldon)
  • 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter,cubed,at room temperature, divided (cultured if available)
  • 1/2 ounce pistachios, chopped (optional)
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped, optional
  1. Calibrate you candy thermometer.
  2. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with foil. For best results, use Reynolds Rapid Release and coat with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Combine cream, 2 tablespoons of butter, vanilla, ½ rounded teaspoon sea salt, cardamom and orange zest in a small saucepan heat to just before boiling – small bubbles will be forming around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes before continuing. Don’t let the cardamom cream cool too much.
  4. Attach your candy thermometer to the side of a heavy bottomed 4-quart saucepan so that the bulb will be submerged. Heat corn syrup and sugar over medium heat; stir carefully until the sugar melts. Once the sugar has melted only stir to avoid hot spots. Cook to 310ºF (155ºC). You may need to tilt the pan to submerge the bulb and get an accurate reading.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in strained, warm cardamom cream until combined, no longer bubbling, and and stir in strained, warm cardamom cream, until smooth.
  6. Return to heat and cook to 260F (127C).
  7. Remove pan from heat, take out thermometer, and stir remaining butter, until it’s melted and caramel is smooth.
  8. Pour caramel into the loaf pan and let sit for ten minutes, then sprinkle with rounded 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and pistachios, if using. Set on a rack and completely cooled. You can check this by touching the sides and bottom of the pan. When cool, lift foil and caramel from, carefully remove foil*, and slice caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles.
  9. * For chocolate option: melt chocolate in the microwave and using a fork drizzle over the caramel. Place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before cutting to allow the chocolate to set.
  10. Wrap caramels individually in waxed paper otherwise they get sticky. David Lebovitz says they’ll keep for about a month but I’ll never know cuz they disappear very quickly around here.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • hardlikearmour
  • Angela @ the well-worn apron
    Angela @ the well-worn apron

4 Reviews

drbabs February 3, 2011
really gorgeous
Angela @. February 3, 2011
Thanks, hope you'll give them a try. Visited your profile and love how you define strange foods ... you are so right. Also noted that our "home alone" foods are very similar.
Have a great day. Happy cooking.
hardlikearmour February 3, 2011
We must be on the same wavelength! I've got cream steeping for caramels right now. Yours sound heavenly.
Angela @. February 3, 2011
Thanks and best of luck. These are so yummy I could eat the whole batch. I brought them to work and some asked why I brought them in, don't I like them? I told her no, I love them but I brought them here to save myself from gluttony. :-)