These Soft Chocolate Caramels have a delicious caramel flavor mixed with bittersweet chocolate. Easy to make, with no melting and dipping involved. Great to give as gifts, and to make ahead.EASY - Easy recipe. There is a long inactive time as you have to wait for the caramels to chill. This recipe also requires a candy thermometer. PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION when you handle the very hot sugar mixture. US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions. Weight measurements are recommended for accurate results.
Line a 9 x 13 inch quarter sheet pan with parchment paper. Butter the pan first so that the parchment paper sticks to the pan - this is optional, but will give you smoother edges to your caramels. Dissolve the coffee in the vanilla extract and set aside.
Place all the ingredients, except for the coffee granules and vanilla extract, in a large pot.
Heat over medium high heat, while stirring (with a whisk or spatula) occasionally, until all the ingredients melt to form a smooth liquid.
Bring the mixture to a boil, and lower the heat to medium. Continue to cook the caramel chocolate base, while stirring frequently to make sure the caramel doesn’t burn at the bottom.
Cook until the mixture reaches a temperature between 242 - 245°F. Then immediately whisk in the vanilla and coffee mixture.
Remove the pot from the heat, and pour the mixture into the prepared quarter sheet pan. Please be careful as the sugar mixture is EXTREMELY HOT at this stage. Do NOT get it on your hands, or be tempted to lick / taste it!
Allow the caramel to cool slightly. While the surface is still soft, sprinkle extra sea salt flakes (like maldon) on top.
The caramel should cool completely to room temperature. Wrap the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it hardens. I like to keep the caramel in the fridge overnight.
Once chilled, remove from the fridge and then the pan. If the butter on the tray is making it hard to remove the parchment paper, keep the tray on a kitchen towel soaked in warm water. This will help release the parchment paper.
Keep the caramel slab on a cutting board, and allow it to soften a little (to room temperature).
Using a long, sharp, dry, clean knife (not a serrated knife), cut the caramel into pieces. The pieces can be whatever size you like. Wipe the knife clean between cuts, so that you get nice clean cuts. I prefer to cut the caramels into 0.75 x 1.5 inch pieces, or 1 x 1 inch squares.
Wrap the caramels in wax paper and store in an airtight jar or container. You can also store these in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for over 3 months. Please make sure that there is as little moisture as possible, since moisture will make the caramels sticky.
Allow them to soften to room temperature before eating.
The cook time will vary depending on your stove and the pot you use. It takes me about 18 minutes. So instead of going by time, it's important to cook the mixture until it reaches the correct temperature.