Making caramels with KNOW Better Sweetener means you have the freedom to say yes to candy again. It's not any more difficult to make caramels using our sweetener than it is with regular sugar, but we do have a few tips to make it as easy as possible the first time around.
First, avoid the urge to stir the sweetener and water mixture as the sweetener melts and comes to a boil — stirring encourages the sweetener to form crystals, which will make the candy seize up. Second, keep a close eye on the sweetener mixture as it caramelizes. It'll go from gloriously golden to burnt and acrid very quickly. Third, make sure to use a candy thermometer once you've added the cream. Cooking the creamy caramel mixture to the proper temperature ensures that your candy will be soft and chewy, not hard and brittle (or oozy and impossible to cut). Finally, use the best flaky salt you can find to top the caramels — it's worth it!
Makes 18 caramels
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup KNOW Better Sweetener
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Use the back of a paring knife to scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream. Add the pod to the cream as well.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to melt the butter. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Remove and discard the spent vanilla bean pod.
While the cream is cooling, grease a loaf pan with butter. Use parchment paper to form a sling that runs across the bottom and up the long sides of the pan.
Once the cream has cooled, combine the water and lemon juice in a large saucepan or pot with high sides. Pour the sweetener into the center of the pot so that it does not touch the sides.
Place the pot over medium heat. Without stirring, let the sweetener melt into the water and come to a boil. Continue to boil, without stirring, until the sweetener turns an amber color and reaches 350 degrees, about 10 minutes total.
Carefully pour the cream mixture into the caramel (it will bubble violently). Stirring constantly, continue to cook the caramel mixture until it reaches 248 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately pour the caramel into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Let cool to room temperature, then transfer the fridge to cool completely.
Using the parchment sling, remove the caramel from the pan, and slice into 18 squares. Wrap each square in its own piece of parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.