The Ginger Caramels
How to make the most popular caramels at CB’s Caramel Company
Started in 2014, CB’s Caramel Company was a labor of love that quickly turned successful. I had been making caramels all my life, since first trying Mrs. See’s vanilla caramels as a child. The sweet, chewy goodness was my favorite and the expense prompted me to learn how to make them on my own. Later on, I would attend cooking school especially for caramels and chocolate making. As a result, I learned infusions and how to make different flavored caramels. I catered weddings and many theatre intermissions. Above all, the gingers sold out the fastest.
Pure Ginger Essence
On a day at work years ago, I took a bunch of caramels to give to my friends, when a co-worker, Valarie, approached me. “Did you ever think about using ginger?” she asked me. Immediately I started researching on how to make a ginger flavored caramel. I went to the local Whole Foods market and had them press out 8 ounces of fresh ginger juice. I began to experiment with the different formulas and came up with a homerun. The fresh juice infuses the candy to such an extent that it makes them taste like no other. The deep ginger umami, mixed with the sweetness and the salt are reminiscent of the ginger chews popular in stores. These are buttery and better.
The key to candy making is in the preparation and focus. For example, if you’ve ever made stir-fry, you’ll note that having everything ready and focused when it happens is most important. The process can go very quickly. Same with caramels. Set aside about an hour of prep and undivided attention to be successful. No distractions and it’s a pretty simple procedure. Sugar can be tricky as well as intimidating at high temperatures, but the end result will have your family begging for more. Ginger can also be a bit polarizing, so, if so desired, replace with your favorite fruit juice. Cherry, apple cider, orange, lemon and pomegranate are just some of my favorites.
Valarie, the inspiration for the candy, has a terrific interview on Everyday People Valarie H, a great read. Certainly the awareness of people eating less sugar and trying to avoid candy is becoming more prevalent, especially with aging. Aging: Getting older ain’t for wimps. I do, however, advise against the sugar-free/fat-free alternatives. Ginger has many medicinal properties and eating one of these has helped me with nausea and gastrointestinal issues. The emphasis being on ‘one piece’ which is very difficult to master with these addicting candies. Drinking water and the immediate brushing of ones teeth after eating these is also highly recommended.
Recipe and Instructions
- heavy bottomed saucepan
- heat-proof spatula
- candy thermometer
- 8 x 8 inch square pan
- parchment paper
- small saucepan
- Chefs knife
- pizza wheel
- cellophane or waxed paper for wrapping
- airtight container for storing
- 8 ounces Pure ginger juice, divided from ginger root
- 3/4 cup pure cane or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup or glucose syrup
- flaky sea salt
- Make reduction. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup (4 oz) to a simmer and cook until reduced by at least half and syrupy. This will take about 10 minutes and yield about 1 Tbsp of concentrated ginger essence. Set aside.
- Combine 1/2 cup (4 oz) the remaining ginger juice and all other ingredients except ginger reduction in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally Butter will melt and mixture will begin to boil.
- Continue to cook until candy thermometer reaches 242-244 degrees F
- When the correct temperature has been reached, stir in the ginger reduction and cook until thermometer comes back up to 242-244F.
- Pour into parchment-lined prepared 8 x 8-inch pan. Do not scrape the bottom of the pan.
- After 2 to 3 minutes, sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of caramel
- Let cool, 2 to 3 hours, or harden in the refrigerator to speed up process
- With a lightly oiled chef's knife or pizza wheel, cut into strips and one-inch squares.
- Wrap in cellophane or waxed paper and store in airtight container for up to a month
cellophane wrappers https://amzn.to/3u1lLBx
induction cooktop https://amzn.to/3u2oWZG
all clad small saucepan https://amzn.to/2Rztjyj
candy thermometer https://amzn.to/3ysFo8X
As a new member of the Amazon associates program, I must disclose that if you purchase the items through the links, it costs you nothing but helps cbactortraveler in site maintenance and progression. Thank you in advance.