Whisky and Pure White Sea Salt Smoked over Oak go together beautifully, and this caramel offers the perfect foundation for both flavours to really sing. We like to use Welsh favourite Penderyn whiskey for these little squares of balanced sweet and salty joy.
Like all sugar work, these caramels demand accuracy to prevent the risk of the sweets not setting, or becoming tooth-shatteringly hard, you will need a sugar thermometer to ensure they heat to the right temperature.
Wrapped in squares of baking paper, these caramels make great gifts on their own.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes, plus overnight setting
Lightly oil a 20cm/8in square baking tin and line with baking paper that is long and wide enough to reach all the top edges of the tin.
Pour the caster sugar, golden syrup and 3 tablespoons water into a deep, medium saucepan.
Clip a sugar thermometer onto the side of the pan, then heat over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula, for 6–8 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is liquid.
Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the cream. Keep the mixture warm over a low heat.
Increase the heat on the sugar pan to medium-high and boil the sugar mixture for another 5–7 minutes until the sugar reaches 155C/311F, brushing any visible white sugar crystals from the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallisation of the caramel later.
Remove the molten sugar from the heat and pour in the warm cream mixture in three stages, stirring between each addition and taking care as the hot caramel mixture will quickly bubble up the sides of the pan.
When all the cream mixture has been stirred into the sugar, return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring frequently with a spatula, until the thermometer reaches 122C/252F, or 130C/266F if you prefer a firmer set.
Working quickly, but confidently and calmly, remove the pan from the heat and add the finer flaked salt. Stir in the whisky in three stages, taking care as it will boil furiously with each addition. Stir to combine, then pour into the prepared tin and leave to set for 10 minutes before scattering over the flaked salt. Cover and leave to set at room temperature, ideally overnight, before cutting into 36 squares with a lightly oiled sharp knife.
Wrap the salted caramels in squares of baking paper and eat within a week. Alternatively, the caramels can be frozen for up to three months before consuming. Defrost them completely before serving.
This recipe is from our book Sea Salt.