A delicious pint of fleur de sel caramel ice cream inspired me to make a batch of my own. Mark Bittman’s recipe couldn’t be easier- although it took much longer for the sugar to caramelize than I expected. Be patient, don’t stir, follow your instincts & enjoy.
Recipe from Mark Bittman (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/21/dining/211mrex.html?_r=0)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
1½ cups heavy cream, preferably not ultrapasteurized
2 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, optional.
1. Lightly grease a 9-inch-square baking pan (or line with parchment paper- my preferred method). Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a broad saucepan or deep skillet and turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
2. Mixture will bubble and darken. Keep cooking (don’t stir! Just swirl the mixture occasionally until mixture is a light brown, and measures 245 degrees on a candy thermometer (or until a piece of it forms a firm ball when dropped into a glass of cold water).
3. Stir in the vanilla and pour into prepared pan. Cool, then remove from pan in a block and refrigerate, but not for too long – what you want is a mixture cool enough so that it’s not too sticky, but not so cold that it’s solid; this is the easiest state in which to cut and wrap.
4. Use a sharp knife to cut caramel into pieces, then wrap each square in waxed paper or plastic wrap.