Give your sweetie these delectable candies and learn how to make the most delicious homemade caramel from scratch. The ultimate Valentine’s Day treat!
- 1 cup heavy cream, organic
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon sea salt , or Fleur de sel
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, organic, cut into tablespoons
- ⅔ cup coconut palm sugar, organic
- ⅔ cup pure cane sugar, organic
- ¼ cup brown rice syrup, organic
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 3.2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, I used “Chocolove Organic Dark Chocolate 73%
- 66 whole pecans or 30 whole walnuts, approximately: gently toasted,- cut into shapes for heads, tails, arms and legs for turtles (see directions.)
Prepare the turtles:
Chop the chocolate into even 1/2 inch pieces. Add to a glass dish, microwave until half melted – remove and stir with a fork until fully melted, tempering the chocolate.
Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Add a 1 inch “dot” of chocolate in a corner of the pan. Add a piece of nut for head on the top of the chocolate, and a piece of nut for the tail. Add smaller pieces of nuts for arms and legs, two on each side.
Please see photo! Continue with remaining chocolate and nuts – making 22 bases for the turtles. If cramped for space, use a second pan. Make the caramel. Reserve the remaining chocolate for the tops of the turtles, should have more than half remaining.
Homemade Natural Caramel:
Measure the heavy cream in a glass pyrex measuring cup, add the vanilla and salt. Place in microwave and warm to almost boiling. Set aside.
Secure a candy thermometer on a heavy one quart pot, add the sugars: coconut palm sugar, cane sugar and brown rice syrup. Add the water.
Bring to a boil stirring with a whisk, then turn down to medium-low and cook for three minutes. Temperature will be 220 degrees.
Add the heavy cream mixture with the butter, whisk until butter has melted. Cook over medium heat until 238 degrees. Try not to increase any higher.
Remove from heat, remove candy thermometer.
Pour the caramel into another one quart pot. Whisk gently to cool a bit.
Scoop a rounded teaspoon of caramel and carefully (should not be too hot to handle) – form into a nice flattened oval shape – place the caramel “body” on top of the nuts. press down gently so the nut head, tail arms and legs stick to the caramel.
Continue with the rest of the caramel. If the caramel hardens too much – place on the stove over LOW heat and stir for a few seconds only. You will use about half of the caramel for the turtles.
When cool, add some chocolate to cover the top of the caramel bodies. TIP: use melted chocolate that is neither to warm and runny, or too stiff. You will get the hang of it… place in the microwave for a few seconds if hardens a bit.
Make Individual Soft Caramel Candies with the remainder.
Soft Caramel Candies: pinch off 2 teaspoon pieces of caramel, roll in your hands to make a 1/2″ x 2 ” long log. Place each on a 2″ x 3″ piece of waxed paper and roll into a long shape – twist the edges tightly.
Store theses in a airtight container and enjoy.
Both Turtles and Soft Caramel Candies make great gifts!
Makes about: 22 turtles, and 20 soft caramel candies.