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Caramel Sea Salt Truffles

Using coarse sea salt crystals on the caramel gives added texture and a burst of flavor to these candies, but fine sea salt can be used as well. You can also add a tiny sprinkle of sea salt to the chocolate coat for a sparkling finish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbs. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:

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 registers 240°F, 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 registers 244°F, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Let stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The mixture should be firm to the touch but not hard. Using a tablespoon, scoop out and form balls of caramel 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 for 1 hour before dipping.

In the top of a double boiler set over but not touching gently simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat and set aside. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper 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. Makes about 50 truffles.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).