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Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel Caramels

Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel Caramels make an excellent homemade candy during the Christmas holidays. In this post, I’m sharing my favorite recipe for dark chocolate sea salt caramels, plus tips for making them at high altitude.

A box of homemade Christmas candies, including chocolate covered fleur de sel caramels.

Creating These Fleur de Sel Caramels

I have a thing for sweet and salty. My husband doesn’t quite understand it. He’s not a big fan of salt sprinkled on top of baked goods or sweet candies.

For me, I think I need salty and sweet together to balance each other out. And that’s why I love salted caramels so much.

Last year I decided that I needed to learn how to make these Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels myself.

I was intimidated by caramels at first. Over the past few years I have had a few failed batches. Some were too soft to hold their shape as caramels, while others were more like hard candy.

In a moment of frustration, I googled something like “why are my caramels turning out like hard candy” or “high altitude caramel.” I finally discovered that I needed to adjust my final temperature due to living at higher than sea level elevation. 

That makes a difference in the final temperature that the candy should reach. Go too high and you’ll have hard candy. What a difference that made!

Now I could make soft, chewy caramels in my own home.

These Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel Caramels turned out so good it was a bit hard to stop snacking on them as I dipped them in chocolate.

I ended up sending a container of them with my husband to work the next day because I had eaten so many. And then I deeply regretted it the next day after he and his co-worker had eaten them all.

Ingredients in Fleur de Sel Caramels

“Chocolate-covered fler de sel caramels” is really just a fancy way of saying “chocolate-covered sea salt caramels.” Have I piqued your interest now?

Here’s a look at what you’ll need to make the homemade caramels with heavy cream:

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

A box of homemade Christmas candies, including chocolate covered fleur de sel caramels.

How to Make Fleur de Sel Caramels

These truly are the best sea salt caramels, and they’re so easy to make! However, you will need a candy thermometer to make them.

  1. Bring cream and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel and sugar is dissolved.
  3. Carefully stir in vanilla extract, vanilla fleur de sel, and cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer.
  4. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours.
  5. Remove caramels from pan and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Dip caramels, one at a time, in tempered chocolate.
  7. Sprinkle with a small amount of vanilla fleur de sel. Set aside to dry.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Making Caramel at High Altitudes

Living significantly above sea level will result in hard candy rather than soft, chewy caramels if you don’t adjust the temperature in the recipe.  For best results, you are definitely going to want to adjust the recipe.

I also like to take it off 1 or 2 degrees before the final temperature just to be safe.

The trick is to know the elevation for where you live and then factor that into the instructions for this dark chocolate sea salt caramels recipe (or any other caramel recipe).

Because, if you’re wondering does altitude affect candy making?, the answer is YES.

How to Adjust Candy Recipes for High Altitudes

With higher altitudes, you are going to bring the final cook temperature up lower if you live above sea level to achieve the same soft, chewy caramels.

1. First you will need to find out what your local altitude is.

If you don’t already know this, just google your zipcode and elevation and you’ll easily find an answer.

  • We’ll use my location as an example.
  • We are just over 5,000 ft. elevation.

2. For every 1,000 feet above sea level you will subtract 2 degrees from the target temperature of this recipe for Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels.

  • 5,000 divided by 1,000 is 5.
  • I will take 2 degrees off 5 times.
  • Final result 5 x 2 = 10.

3. Subtract the number of degrees you calculated previously from the recipe’s original temperature.

  • In this recipe, the target temperature is 248 degrees F.
  • 248 – 10 degrees for altitude adjustment = 238 degrees F.
  • 238 degrees F is my new high altitude adjusted temperature when I make Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels.
Two chocolate covered sea salt caramels nestled in a mini muffin liner with a candy cane.

How to Tell When Caramel Is Done

After the caramels have cooled in the baking dish, they should be firm enough to cut, but still soft enough that they are chewy.

I highly recommend monitoring the caramel closely with a candy thermometer. If cooking to the temperature indicated in the recipe card below yields too soft of a caramel for your preferences, then I would increase the temperature 2-3 degrees.

Also, you can test the caramel while you are cooking by dropping a small amount into a glass of ice water and testing the firmness of the caramel once it has cooled in the glass.

If it is too soft at the indicated temperature, then cook one more degree higher and then test again, repeat as necessary.

Tips for Making Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramels

If you don’t have the patience to dip the Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels in chocolate, they are delicious plain as well.

If you’ve never make chocolate dipped candies before, make sure you check out these instructions for How to Temper Chocolate.

Learning how to temper chocolate properly is essential when you want to make homemade candies. Tempered chocolate will cool into a hardened state with a shiny appearance. When broken or bitten into will break with a snap.

Think about the outer shell on a ganache truffle – you wouldn’t want the outer texture of a truffle to be dull, sticky and tacky, would you? Nope. You want it to be a smooth and shiny shell.

More Homemade Christmas Candies:

Dark Chocolate Turtle Pretzel Bark is a fun treat for kids to help make for a teacher gift. Classic Pecan Christmas Turtles meet Dark Chocolate Bark with the crunchy, salty addition of mini pretzels for a delicious sweet and salty Christmas candy treat.

Homemade Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Marshmallows are easy to make! Pair a bag of these goodies with a mug or hot cocoa mix for an inexpensive (and yummy) holiday gift.

Do you like making candied nuts? Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts and Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Bar Nuts are both simple to make and nice additions to a candy and nut gift box.

Do you know someone who loves chocolate paired with peppermint? This Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Bark would be a hit with them!

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are a great gift paired with homemade cocoa mix and a fun new mug.

Try this Bittersweet Chocolate Swirl Fruit and Nut Bark. Bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, almonds, raspberries, strawberries, pumpkin and chia seeds combine for a delectable and colorful holiday treat.

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Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels

Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel Caramels

Yield: 40
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel Caramels make an excellent homemade candy during the Christmas holidays!

Ingredients

For the Caramels:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Fleur de Sel
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Chocolate:

Instructions

  1. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment. (Related: Kitchen Tip: Lining Pans with Parchment)
  2. Bring cream and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan.
  4. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel and sugar is dissolved.
  5. Carefully stir in vanilla extract, vanilla fleur de sel, and cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours.
  7. Remove caramels from pan and cut into 1 inch pieces, set aside.
  8. Temper your chocolate: How to Temper Chocolate
  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter.
  2. Dip caramels, one at a time, into the tempered chocolate. Place dipped caramels on the parchment.
  3. Sprinkle with a small amount of vanilla fleur de sel.
  4. Set aside to dry.
  5. Speed up drying time by refrigerating the caramels until the chocolate is set, if desired.

Notes

Before you start this project you will also need find out what your elevation is and adjust the temperatures accordingly.

  • For every 1,000 feet above sea level, you will need to subtract 2 degrees.
  • For example, I live at 5,000 ft. above sea level, so I subtract a total of 10 degrees from the temperature indicated in the recipe.

adapted from Gourmet

Nutrition Information
Yield 40 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 104Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 11mgSodium 4mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 0g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Let me know if you try this recipe for and what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

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lynn spencer

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Hi...quick question. How firm should the caramels be? i had mine in the fridge over night, but when I'm cutting they aren't in firm chunks...they are oozing a bit. Should they stay in form?

Katie

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

Also, you can test while you are cooking by dropping a small amount into a glass of ice water and testing the firmness of the caramel once it has cooled in the glass. If it is too soft at the indicated temperature, then cook one more degree higher and then test again, repeat as necessary.

Katie

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

They should be firm enough to cut, but soft enough that they are chewy. I highly recommend monitoring closely with a candy thermometer, and making calculations according to your elevation if you live significantly above sea level. If cooking to the temperature indicated in the recipe yields too soft of a caramel for your preferences, then I would increase the temperature 2-3 degrees.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

Sunday 26th of December 2010

I've been thinking about making caramels lately... But, I didn't know which recipe to try. I'm starring this one to give it a try soon! Lovely!

Melanie Flinn

Wednesday 22nd of December 2010

Really beautiful pictures! If I had more time I might attempt this, but for now will to just bookmark for next year!

Marisol Perry

Tuesday 21st of December 2010

YAY! :) Hope everyone enjoys them.

Patricia Scarpin

Tuesday 21st of December 2010

You are my hero! I made caramels the other day and thought they were such a pain in the neck in the cutting step of the recipe - dipping them in chocolate is so much work, you are really dedicated, Katie! Congrats - they look super delicious and the photos are breathtaking as always. xx

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