Food, Recipes, Sweets

Salted Butter Caramels – The Sweet Swap

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When I first heard about The Sweet Swap I was both excited and nervous. Excited at the prospect of receiving 3 treats from fellow food bloggers, yet nervous about baking something worthy (and postable!) to my fellow foodies.

My Salted Butter Caramels ended up looking and tasting great, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. My first batch was too soft and ended up a squidgy and delicious mess (if only I had followed my own instructions and heated the sugar to 160 degrees!). I burnt my second batch as I was too busy playing Candy Crush (oh, the irony! But seriously guys, don’t leave your bubbling caramel mixture for a second).

Feeling stressed and time-poor, I finally nailed it (third time lucky) – simply by paying attention and following my recipe. Derr Swah…

The caramel came out darkly golden, with a liberal dousing of flaked sea salt. I lightly greased my knife with vegetable oil spray to make the cutting job easier.

Each little caramel got it’s own rectangle of waxed paper to be wrapped in.

And with a little roll and some twists, they were sealed – and would hopefully survive their voyage around New South Wales and Victoria!


Salted Butter Caramels - My submission for The Sweet Swap
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 60
Ingredients
  • 115g butter
  • ½ cup thickened cream
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup golden syrup
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp sea salt to garnish
Instructions
  1. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.
  2. Cut butter into small pieces and add cream into a microwaveable-proof bowl. Microwave on high until butter is melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine water and golden syrup over a medium heat.
  4. Add in sugar, being careful to not get any on the sides of the saucepan as this will burn (if you do get some, brush off with a wet pastry brush).
  5. Put a candy thermometer into the saucepan and bring the mixture up to 160°C. This needs to be PRECISE.
  6. As soon as the sugar mixture reaches 160°C, add in roughly ¼ of the butter and cream mixture and stir.
  7. Keep repeating this process until all of the butter and cream mixture is incorporated. Be careful as the mixture can spit.
  8. As the butter and cream has cooled our caramel, we are bringing it back up to 118°C. Stir in table salt before pouring into prepared baking tin.
  9. Transfer the caramel to the fridge and allow to cool for 30 minutes before sprinkling over the sea salt.
  10. Return to the fridge and let the caramel set for around 4 hours or overnight.
  11. Once set, remove the caramel from its tin and slice into bite size pieces. If it starts getting too sticky, return to the fridge to refirm (or lightly greasing your knife helps too).
  12. Wrap each caramel up in waxed paper and ENJOY!

I wanted to keep my packaging simple and elegant, and I opted for black chinese takeaway boxes with laser-cut white adhesive lace. The wrapped caramels were placed in little plastic bags and tied up with a red ribbon.

And who got to receive my treats? Nic from Nic Cooks, Gareth from Humble Crumble and Amy from Melbourne Food Snob! I hope you guys all enjoyed your salted butter caramels :)

I eagerly awaited the arrival of my sweets and unfortunately they were held hostage at the post office for some time. I finally made it there and picked up all 3 at once! It was like Christmas!

First up, macadamia toffee crisps from Apricot Tart. These were dangerously addictive!

My next package was from Fluffy Makan. These Indonesian Cassava Cheese Cookies are uniquely salty and sweet and VERY tasty!

And my final package was from Polkadots and Chopsticks, a box full of delicious ginger and dark chocolate cookies! Yay!

Apart from a few hiccups in my baking process, The Sweet Swap was great fun and I loved sending off and receiving delicious treats in the mail (plus, we raised money for charity!) I highly suggest you participate next year and join in the fun!

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36 Comments

  • Reply Marian Paleologos July 15, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the Macadamia Toffee Crisps! Your Salted Butter Caramels look divine!

    • Reply Swah July 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Thanks Marian they were absolutely delicious!! I shared the remaining few with co-workers and they went nuts :)

  • Reply Alana July 15, 2013 at 11:47 am

    FAIL PAL! Glad you got there in the end, your caramels look real good. Did you lose your mind a little wrapping each individual square like I did? Probably not because you’re a domestic goddess.

    • Reply Swah July 15, 2013 at 11:51 am

      I completely lost it after wrapping my 60th caramel into the wee hours of the night. I imagined myself as a worker in a developing world factory, I was perhaps being a little over-dramatic.

  • Reply Amy @ Melbourne Food Snob July 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Loved the caramels! They were a little melted, but still delicious :)

    • Reply Swah July 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed them Amy and that they weren’t a molten mess! :)

  • Reply Simon @ the heart of food July 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I felt the same way about the Sweet Swap i.e. mix of excitement and nervousness. Glad to see your caramels worked out in the end. They look fabulous :)

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you Simon! I can’t believe a sweet swap involved so many mixed emotions ;)

  • Reply Leah July 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I love caramels! I ate them so so much when i was pregnant! And the only thing i ate while giving birth, true story….

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      I love caramels and eat them whenever possible, I don’t even have the excuse of being pregnant! Hahaha

  • Reply Tina @ bitemeshowme July 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Those caramels look so uniform!! I bet the wrapping bit was the hardest part – I’d just be tempted to eat them all as it’s an easier task hahaha

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Wrapping was such a pain in the neck! There were a few lopsided pieces that may have made it into my mouth… oops :)

  • Reply Rachel July 15, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I feel that my night will not be complete until I eat one of these! If only we could put in orders…

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      I am wishing I could order several Sweet Swap treats too Rachel!

  • Reply Annie @ The Random Foodie July 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    those caramel treats look sooo goood! drooling over them right now…

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you Annie! I am wishing I had more sitting in front of me right now…

  • Reply Flick @ Flick Your Food July 15, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Wohoo for finally working- they look great

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks Flick! I am so glad they (finally) worked :)

  • Reply Sara @bellyrumbles July 16, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Oh Swah, what gorgeous looking caramels. I am sorry to giggle, but burning your caramel while playing candy crush is so befitting :p So glad you participated and had fun.

    • Reply Swah July 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Don’t worry, I deserve to be giggled at!! Haha. Thanks for organising such a fun event!

  • Reply Chanel July 17, 2013 at 10:41 am

    They look perfect! Look at that golden caramel and those crunchy sea salt flakes… I need to make this :D

    • Reply Swah July 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Give them a go and let me know! I hope you have better luck than me, I am sure you will ;)

  • Reply Amanda@ChewTown July 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    They looked perfect in the end – and so uniformly cut!! I’m with Sara re my favourite moment of your experience – I actually laughed out loud when I read that you burnt the second batch due to playing Candy Crush. That game is WAY too addictive. So glad that you took part this year!

    • Reply Swah July 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Hahaha the Candy Crush game is taking over my life!! Thanks for hosting such a wonderful event, looking forward to it next year :)

  • Reply Gareth July 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    These tasted fantastic, if I hadn’t scoffed them so fast, they would have been awesome with ice cream. Thank you so much for my tasty treats.

    • Reply Swah July 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Oh yay, so glad you enjoyed them Gareth! :D

  • Reply muppy July 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    they look so perfect,
    so true hey the moment you turn away from toffee it burns!

    • Reply Swah July 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks Muppy! And yes toffee is one of those fickle things – I will never turn away from it again!

  • Reply Martine @ Chompchomp July 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I really enjoyed being part of The Sweet Swap this year….my blog isn’t really a cooking blog so I was nervous to join alongside talented and creative people like yourselves…..I hope I pulled it off!

    • Reply Swah July 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      You definitely pulled it off Martine! I think it put quite a few people out of their comfort zones as a lot of people don’t do sweets but everyone rose to the challenge :)

  • Reply Natasha @ Playing House July 23, 2013 at 12:23 am

    The caramels look delicious. Sugar can be such a pain though. I always get a little bit anxious when I’m heating sugar for any recipe.

    That white dish is also gorgeous! Where did you get it from? :)

    x

    • Reply Swah July 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      I get anxious too, I’m worried I am either going to burn the sugar or burn myself!

      I love the white dish, it’s from IKEA! :) xx

      • Reply Natasha @ Playing House July 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

        IKEA? Awesome! Who knew it would be that easy. Now to see if they still have them, or if I can find one somewhere. :)
        Thanks!

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