Caramel Sea Salt Truffles

November 18, 2010

I have a weakness for caramel — more than chocolate, and maybe even more than coffee. When it comes to holiday sweets, caramel wins out above anything else for me. When I found this recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining cookbook Chris’s mom gave me, I knew I had to try it.

The recipe was easy enough, but I have to admit that they didn’t turn out quite as I expected. Something about the caramel flavor doesn’t stand out quite as much as I’d like. They were also harder than I prefer, so I would probably not heat them as high after the second half of the cream is added. I would also use a high quality dark chocolate and make the truffles about half of the recommended size. Alternatively, I would skip the shaping step, cut them into bars, and just dip half of the bar into chocolate.

All in all, this was still a great recipe (all this one is still my favorite). The batch is quite large, so I froze more than half of mine to enjoy later. These truffles would also make a lovely hostess gift for one of this season’s holiday parties. I hope you enjoy it.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1-1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and 1/2 cup of the cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and then cook, stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees Fahrenheit, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup cream, stirring to mix well. The mixture will bubble up slightly.

Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook until the thermometer reads 244 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Let stand for 1 1/2 hours. The mixture should be firm to the touch, but not hard. Using a tablespoon, scoop out and form balls of carmel and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. The caramel scraps can be gathered and shaped into balls by hand. Sprinkle each ball with a few grains of sea salt. Let stand 1 hour before dipping.

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over (but not touching) gently simmering water. Remove from the heat and set aside. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed apper and top each with a wire rack. Using a fork, dip the caramel balls one at a time into the chocolate, turning to coat. Transfer to the wire racks to cool. Add a sprinkle of salt to the top of each truffle and let stand until the chocolate is firm and set.

Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe reprinted from Holiday Entertaining, published by Williams-Sonoma.

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