How to Make Earl Grey Salted Caramels, Step-by-Step Recipe

My sister suggested a tea infused candy for a post, so Queenie (my cooking/baking guru) and I came up with Earl Grey Salted Caramels. After four attempts and modifications, Queenie created this recipe which is AMAZING. They're soft, chewy, and the best part is that they don't feel like they're going to pull out your fillings. The Earl Grey flavor really comes through without being overpowering. They're the perfect chew. It's impossible to just have one.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream  
3 tablespoons Earl Grey loose leaf tea, hand-crushed (we used Bellocq's The Earl Grey)
1 black tea bag (we used Barry's Tea)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons cold butter, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt + more for sprinkling (we used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)


EQUIPMENT:

Candy thermometer
Twisting wax paper
12x12 baking pan
Parchment paper to line the baking pan
Ruler

1. Line a 12x12 baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a saucepan, put in the heavy cream (1 1/2 cups), tea bag and crush in the Earl Grey loose leaf tea (3 tablespoons). On a low flame, bring to a slow simmer and make sure it doesn't go to a boil. After five minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

3. Strain the tea. There should be about a cup of this liquid. Add vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon) into the liquid.

4. Pour in the sugar (2 cups), corn syrup (1/4 cup), honey (1/4 cup), and water (1/3 cup) into a heavy pot. Mix well to get rid of any lumps.

5. This is key: Using a wet brush and cold water, wipe clean the inside of the pot so that there isn't any sugar left above the water line. This prevents crystallization.

6. Clip on the candy thermometer onto the side of the pot and turn on the heat to medium-low. Cook the sugar until the candy thermometer reaches 230-235°F. At this point, it'll be a dark golden color. 

7. At 230-235°F, turn off the heat and slowly add in the cup of heavy cream tea while stirring. Then add the butter (4 tablespoons) and salt (1/2 teaspoon).

8. Turn the heat back on to medium-low and bring the caramel to 250°F. After it reaches 250°F, keep the heat on medium-low and keep stirring for five more minutes. 

Note: The longer the caramel cooks after it reaches 250°F, the harder and stickier the caramel will get since the liquid is being reduced during this process. 

9. Pour the caramel into the prepared baking pan. Let it cool completely, about two hours. (You can speed this process by putting it into the freezer for a few minutes, but make sure the caramel doesn't freeze.)

10. After about an hour into the cooling process, when the caramel is set, but not completely cooled, sprinkle salt on top. After it has completely cooled, cut into small pieces using an oiled knife and ruler. Use a paper towel with some oil to wipe the knife and ruler to prevent the caramel from sticking to them. 

11. Cut the twisting wax paper into four pieces. 

12. With the shiny, waxy side of the paper on the outside, wrap each caramel piece. Instead of twisting the ends, each end was flattened down, using the caramel itself as an adhesive.

EARL GREY SALTED CARAMELS

Makes about 90 - 100 caramel pieces

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream  
3 tablespoons Earl Grey loose leaf tea, hand-crushed (we used Bellocq's The Earl Grey)
1 black tea bag (we used Barry's Tea)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons cold butter, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt + more for sprinkling (we used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)


EQUIPMENT:

Candy thermometer
Twisting wax paper
12x12 baking pan
Parchment paper to line the baking pan
Ruler


DIRECTIONS:

1. Line a 12x12 baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a saucepan, put in the heavy cream (1 1/2 cups), tea bag and crush in the Earl Grey loose leaf tea (3 tablespoons). On a low flame, bring to a slow simmer and make sure it doesn't go to a boil. After five minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

3. Strain the tea. There should be about a cup of this liquid. Add vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon) into the liquid.

4. Pour in the sugar (2 cups), corn syrup (1/4 cup), honey (1/4 cup), and water (1/3 cup) into a heavy pot. Mix well to get rid of any lumps.

5. This is key: Using a wet brush and cold water, wipe clean the inside of the pot so that there isn't any sugar left above the water line. This prevents crystallization.

6. Clip on the candy thermometer onto the side of the pot and turn on the heat to medium-low. Cook the sugar until the candy thermometer reaches 230-235°F. At this point, it'll be a dark golden color.

7. At 230-235°F, turn off the heat and slowly add in the cup of heavy cream tea while stirring. Then add the butter (4 tablespoons) and salt (1/2 teaspoon).

8. Turn the heat back on to medium-low and bring the caramel to 250°F. After it reaches 250°F, keep the heat on medium-low and keep stirring for five more minutes.
Note: The longer the caramel cooks after it reaches 250°F, the harder and stickier the caramel will get since the liquid is being reduced during this process. 

9. Pour the caramel into the prepared baking pan. Let it cool completely, about two hours. (You can speed this process by putting it into the freezer for a few minutes, but make sure the caramel doesn't freeze.)

10. After about an hour into the cooling process, when the caramel is set, but not completely cooled, sprinkle salt on top. After it has completely cooled, cut into small pieces using an oiled knife and ruler. Use a paper towel with some oil to wipe the knife and ruler to prevent the caramel from sticking to them. 

11. Cut the twisting wax paper into four pieces. 

12. With the shiny, waxy side of the paper on the outside, wrap each caramel piece. Instead of twisting the ends, each end was flattened down, using the caramel itself as an adhesive.


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Also made by Queenie: Mini Matcha Madeleines, Mini Victoria Sponge Cake, Small Batch Jam, Easy Scones