I finally found where I had hidden my Fleur de Sel. It was tucked away behind my big bin of bread flour and though I unfortunately couldn't find it when I needed it for making my World Peace Cookies for Christmas, I can now try my hand at making caramel fleur de sel.
I made a whole whack of macarons the other day and sandwiched the salty caramel between the shells. They were absolutely delicious and the fleur de sel, which I used kind of heavy-handedly, was a perfect foil to the sweet caramel. I used a total of 8 grams of fleur de sel. My caramel is definitely salty when you taste it alone. However, served accompanying other sweets it enhances flavours quite well.
I have quite a bit of caramel left over from making the macarons so I decided to try it with ice cream. The salty caramel brings out the smoky green tea flavours and pairs amazingly well with this ice cream. Now what do I do with the remaining cup of caramel? I'm thinking it would go well with a chocolate tart or swirled onto foam in a cafe au lait. Straight off the spoon will do too!
VANILLA BEAN CARAMEL FLEUR DE SEL200g sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
200g (1 cup) cream, warmed in the microwave
5g fleur de sel (I used 8 grams!)
140g butter, chilled
- In a deep, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the sugar, stirring continuously until sugar melts and caramelizes a golden colour. Continue stirring and add in the contents of the vanilla pod.
- Reduce the temperature to low heat and add the warm cream to the caramel a bit at a time, stirring constantly. It will bubble up and splatter, but that's okay! Then add the fleur de sel. Stir to make sure all the caramel has dissolved.
- Cool the mixture to approximately 40 degrees Celsius. Add in the cold cubed butter. Use an immersion blender to blend the butter and create a smooth glossy paste. Line the surface of the caramel with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator until needed.