Fran's Salt Caramels
Fran’s Salt Caramels. Salt caramel photos by Melody Lan.




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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE and a dévotée of salt caramels.



May 2006
Updated March 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Candy

The Best Salt Caramels

Page 2: About Caramel


This is Page 2 of a six-part article. Click the black links below to view the other pages.


Caramel is made from caramelized sugar, butter, and milk or cream; some products add corn syrup. The texture can range from firm and chewy to soft and buttery. By varying proportions, one can get a softer or chewier product—a more buttery-tasting product, a sweeter caramel, etc. (There is a large family of caramel-related foods and additives, including the candy caramel, caramel dessert topping, caramel food coloring, caramel flavoring and caramel syrup.)

Caramels are made with sweet butter, but some French confectioners have traditionally made them with salted butter (caramel au beurre salé) to play off the sweet-salty pairing. But we’ve become salt sophisticates. Take the growing preference of all good chefs to accent foods with sea salts, the use of sea salts to accent fine chocolate, the history of salt caramels, and voilà: salt caramels, enrobed in chocolate, some with additional salt sprinkled on top for added saltiness. Using sea salt in a caramel recipe is different from using salted butter to make caramel au beurre salé: The sea salt doesn’t melt into the caramel, so there are fine grains of salt that add texture and crunch. If it sounds like too much salt, let us allay fears: Even those of us who don’t salt our food love to eat them.
Marie Belle Caramels
Classic caramels from Marie Belle.

Like all confections, recipes vary widely depending on the confectioner. There are the subtle, the salty and everything in-between. Some chocolatiers choose classic fleur de sel or Sel Gris sea salts, others like a touch of the smokehouse and use the newer smoked sea salts. We’re sure there are salt caramels out there that use other salts. If we were making salt caramels (we’ve included a basic recipe on Page 6), we would choose the beautiful Peruvian Pink Sea Salt or Maldon, a white salt with unique pyramid-shaped crystals.

One of the nicest “side benefits” of salt caramels is that most of them pack quite a tasty punch in a very small piece—generally about one-inch square and half an inch high. For not many calories, you can be very satisfied.


Continue To Page 3: Recchiuti, Richart & Woodhouse Salt Caramels

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