Fleur de Sel Caramels
1 Cup heavy cream
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Seasons Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped*
1 Tsp. Seasons Fleur de Sel (French Sea Salt) plus more for sprinkling
1½ Cups sugar
¼ Cup light corn syrup
3 Tbsp. water
A little dab of butter for the pan
Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, making sure that all sides are lined with paper for easy removal. lightly butter the parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer (the kind that clips to the side of a pan), combine the Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic, water, sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don’t stir, just gently swirl the pan.
Meanwhile, in a microwave safe cup (or a small sauce pan over the stove) mix together the cream, butter, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, the vanilla extract and the vanilla seeds. Microwave until the butter melts and the mixture simmers. Set aside.
When the sugar mixture has caramelized, turn off the heat and very slowly pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture all the while stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful, very careful — it will bubble up violently. Over medium-low heat, continuously stir the caramel with a wooden spoon until the mixture reaches 248˚F on a candy thermometer*.
Remove the saucepan immediately from the heat and carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let cool uncovered for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with additional Fleur de Sel. Let the caramel further set and cool until firm.
Butter a very sharp and large knife and cut the caramel into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting the ends to close.
*No Vanilla bean pod, no problem! Just add another ½ Tsp. vanilla extract to the caramel after you’ve added the cream!
*It will take a good 10 minutes, just keep in mind that once it reaches 220˚ F, it will only take a couple of minutes longer to reach 248˚ F, so keep your eyes on the candy thermometer.