Caramel Wannabe’s!!!

It’s Daring Baker time again, and for this months challenge we had the option of making a caramel cake, or caramel candy. I opted for the candy, since I thought it would be a nice gift to give away, and because I never used a candy thermometer, nor have I ever made candy! The recipe… Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels… comes from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert.

Well let me tell you, candy making is definitely NOT my forte!!! Yes, I posted my photo with my little caramels all nice and snug in a pretty tin, studded with hazelnuts and pistachio’s, but looks can be very deceiving!!

I got off to a good start, I stuck my new thermometer on my pan and waited for my sugar and syrup to boil, my heated cream was waiting in the wings to be incorporated. Everything was at the correct temperature according to the recipe.

When it was time to pour it all into my pan, my house smelled like a fancy candy shop on Michigan Ave.!! I thought it was the right color, but maybe in reality it was a little to dark, what do you think?

Here is the picture of how my caramels really turned out, like shards of cut glass! TOTALLY INEDIBLE! The first photo above, I practically had to take a sledgehammer to cut them, I had caramel shards flying all over my kitchen floor!
In conclusion, I noticed my candy thermometer said caramels to be done at 240F, but the recipe said 260F. I went with 260F . Maybe that was my problem!

A big “Thanks” goes out to our host Dolores, of Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity, where you will find this recipe, along with her assistants, Alex, of the Blondie and Brownie duo, and Jenny, of Foray into Food, and Natalie, of Gluten-a-go-go.
Be sure to click on the Daring Baker link above to see how the caramels were really suppose to turn out, and to check out all those good looking cakes.
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  1. Marie, the caramels look good! Candy making can be frustrating sometimes and it does sound like the temp was too high, giving you a much harder candy. I’m sure they tasted wonderful with the hazel nuts and pistachio’s.

  2. When I saw your entry, I sighed inwardly and said, “She’s so talented, I’m so scared of making candy.” Well, you hadn’t made them either before and now you’ve given me hope, even if the first batch was a learning curve the second is marvelous! I’m so impressed.


  3. Hi there Marie…can’t see any of the pictures for some strange reason…but am glad I didn’t take a shot at the caramels. I’d definitely be a wannabe too. A sweet tale nonetheless…hope thanksgiving was good!

  4. TOo bad you ended up with caramel shards! The ones in the tin do look perfect and delicious!

  5. I found that making the caramel syrup for the cake was challenging — kudos to you for making actual caramels!

  6. Marie, Sorry about your mishap. With candy, it’s all about the proper temperature. Don’t give up.

  7. Good Morning… I am telling you t he candy sure looked good… I’d still eat it… LOL LOL Beautiful presentation…I think maybe it was too high of a temp for the caramel… Have a great day!!!


  8. Great option to go for the caramels. I love their flavour:D

  9. Is this what you do when you can’t sleep? make candy?
    That boiling sugar scares me!

  10. I wouldn’t know the first thing about making candy. YAY for you Marie for attempting the process. Too bad it didn’t turn out but they sure look pretty in that tin.

  11. Hahaha! They did look perfect. You could suck on them perhaps like a Werthers? You were brave for trying my friend.

  12. Love your take on the caramels! Pistachios, hazelnuts. . .perfect.

  13. A sledgehammer! YEGADS!!!!!!, Marie, I hope you was wearing a hard hat and safety goggles hehe.

    I do not believe a word of it!, those caramels in that tin look absolutely scrummy!!. 🙂 xoxo

  14. Maybe looks can deceive. If it wasn’t for the shards, it would be tough to believe those caramels aren’t perfect.
    I added cashews to mine.

  15. There is a real science to making good caramel candy. But once you have the process down, it’s a real delight.

  16. Even if they didn’t turn out, they look pretty. I have never tried making candy, too much exactness for me.

  17. Caramel is sooooo fussy!!
    Sometimes I just don’t have the patience for it.
    Glad you only had 2 batches, I remember when I had like 4 batches of bad.

  18. Oh but they looked so pretty!!! How sad for you! You should have tried the cake. It was incredible!

  19. They certainly look good. Caramel is challenging to make. I have bee hot and miss with mine so far. I think that just means that I need more practice, which should be tasty.

  20. They look gorgeous 🙂

  21. Your caramels look so good in the first photo Marie! I had a hard time with the caramel sauce for the cake –I had to throw away the firts batch because it got too hard too! The second time around I was more careful with how long I let it cook, and it was better. The cake was a big hit! The frosting was very very sweet though –I think I’d try a different recipe for that if I make the cake again.
    Hugs, Pat

  22. Yes can see them now, & they are ever so pretty Marie. If looks are deceptive, that’s just how I like them…even the box compliments the caramels beautifully!
    Thank you for your concern on the happenings in Mumbai. It’s pretty unnerving to know how close to you terror can reach…& scary to think that it can happen anytime.
    Take care & have a safe & peaceful holiday season! HUGS Deeba

  23. Wow, looks really can be deceiving! I never would have known those caramels were hard as a rock in the first picture. Sorry you had such a rough time!

  24. I feel like you about making spun sugar…..darn, it is not easy!!! I will however NEVER SURRENDER!!!!

  25. Doh, sorry to hear about the frustration–for what its worth, you’re sure made them look great nonetheless and I would happily take it off your hands and eat it all! 😉 They sound delicious

  26. Marie your braver than I am, I didn’t even want to try the caramels! They do look good, I gave you an award Marie, it’s on the post with the Cream Cheese Coils,I’m sorry I didn’t let you know sooner! I’m having more senior moments than I care to admit lately hee hee.

  27. Your caramels are beautiful!

  28. WOW….lovely caramel…hmmm…
    I’m gonna follow ur blog. I love Italian food.
    New here. I have a month old lil place here on blogosphere.
    Do stop by.

  29. They may have been a little crunchy, but they look fantastic! I am dying to try out this recipe. Caramel is one of my favorite things in life, but I break out in hives at the thought of making my own! I’m working up the courage! 😉

  30. Your caramels do look beautiful. I was to scared to even attempt the candy so way to go even if it didn’t turn out as you hoped!!!

  31. Your caramels look great. Fantastic job.

  32. Marie you always put a huge smile on my face and giggle in my heart! I love your post and description of the caramel mishap! I have had many bouts of shards flying when trying to make caramel. In just one minute it can go from chewy to crunchy! And everyone is right.. they still look beautiful in your decorative tins!

    Your Thanksgiving table looks beautiful too.. i’m so glad you had a wonderful family gathering.

  33. I have the same tin! Now I just need some of your caramels to place inside of it. 😉

  34. You did a great job with your caramels this month, even if they gave you a bit of grief along the way. Thanks for playing along with us.

  35. you’ve reminded me that i desperately need one of those thermometers. oh and those caramels looks delish!