These hard caramels begin to melt immediately when you eat them. They’re easiest to slice when they’ve just started to set. Otherwise, they break haphazardly.
A softer caramel could be achieved by only heating to 310F the first time. Watch the temperature closely as it will seem to take a long time and then shoot up quickly.
SALTED CARDAMOM CARAMELS
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
Line an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment paper and spray the inside with cooking spray.
Heat the cream with 2 Tbsp of the butter in a small saucepan with the vanilla, cardamom, and salt until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm while you cook the syrup.
In a medium, heavy duty saucepan, heat the corn syrup with the sugar, and cook, stirring gently, to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Once the mixture is melted together, stir as little as possible to avoid crystallization. Continue cooking until the syrup reaches 320 F.
Remove from heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth. The mixture will bubble up.
Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture to 260 F. The mixture may look grainy, but should smooth out in the next step.
Remove from heat and stir in the cubes of butter, until it’s melted and the mixture smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and allow to cool until set, but not hard, approximately 45 minutes. Lift out the parchment paper with the caramel, peel away the paper, and slice the caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles.