(image via FoodieBride)
Fleur de Sel Caramels with Vanilla Bean
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces (at Christmas, I like to use the fancy European style butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped
1 1/4 teaspoon Fleur de se (sea salt)l, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (can substitute light corn syrup)
1/4 cup water
Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly butter parchment.
Bring cream, butter, vanilla, vanilla beans, pods, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.
Remove pods and carefully stir cream mixture into the caramel (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248 on thermometer. Pour into baking pan and cool 30 minutes. Sprinkle another pinch or two of fleur de sel over the top of the caramel for a nice salty crunch and let sit until completely cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (I buttered a pizza cutter), and then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.