National Chocolate Caramel Day!
By Aaron Hale
Posted March 19, 2021

Whether you pronounce it care-a-mel or car-mel - we can all agree that Caramel is a truly exceptionally delicious treat!  

Happy Chocolate Caramel Day!   E.O.D Confections loves to tickle your tastebuds with the luscious taste of caramel in several different ways…Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels, our Sea Salt Gophers and with our Ultimate Colossal Caramel Apples.

Keep reading for more interesting caramel fun facts, history and a try at home recipe...

People have enjoyed caramels for hundreds of years.  The first types of caramels were hard candies that date back to the 17th century. In America, the settlers cooked sugar and water together to make these sweet treats way back in 1650 in the original Colonies.  Caramels were a candy staple for many years because the ingredients were affordable and they had a long shelf life.

The word “caramel” is derived from “caramelo.”  It was first recorded in the English language in 1725.  Its roots are from the French and Spanish word “caramelo.”  Originally the word comes from the late latin root “calamellus” meaning “sugar cane.”

Before chocolate, Milton Hershey produced caramels...what?  In 1886, Milton Hershey began his first successful confectionery business. The company shipped caramels across the U.S. and to Europe, causing the candy’s popularity to skyrocket and enabled him to form the Hershey Chocolate Bar.   Thanks Milton - I love making confections that contain caramel!!

Salted Caramel (oh, the sweet and savory combination is Heavenly)...As with any long-standing confectionary, the origins of salted caramel go back quite some time have been forgotten by many.  Offering both salty and sweet flavors, salted caramel is particularly popular in the United States again now, but is also growing in popularity across the UK.   Our customer's love our Sea Salt Caramels as much as I do!

The earliest roots of salted caramel can be traced to France, where a chocolatier named Henri Le Roux pioneered the art form. Hailing from a family in the patisserie (French Pastrie/Bakery) trade, Le Roux worked as an apprentice in the family business before relocating to Switzerland and studying to be a chocolatier at what was then the world’s only confectionary school.  Returning to France in 1965, Le Roux took over management of the family shop the same year, selling it in 1977 and opening another shop in Brittany, an area famed for producing vast quantities of salted butter.  The birth of salted caramel stemmed from an attempt to differentiate his products from the many patisseries in the local area, whilst still incorporating such a famous export of the region.  Following extensive testing, Le Roux created a salted butter caramel, which swiftly became a bestseller and put his shop on the culinary map. In 1980, Le Roux won the ‘Best Sweet in France’ award from the Salon International De La Confiserie, a famed Parisian bureau of excellence in food production.  Well a special thank you to Mr. LeRoux!  Our Sea Salt Caramels are so delicious...bet ya can't eat just one! 

The combination of sweet and salty foods makes for an appealing treat for the taste buds, with the sweetness mingling with flavor-enhancing salt to create a flavor which is both unique and appetizing.  It wasn't until about 2008 that Americans got on board with the outstanding combination of sweet and savory - oh, so good you will have to hide the box (just don't forget where you hid it).

Now to honor our Ultimate Colossal Apple, I give you some history of the caramel apples' accidental beginnings...In the 1950s, a Kraft Foods employee had a plethora of caramel candies leftover and, apparently, a few apples as well.  Figuring out a way to use up these extra caramels, the confectioner, Dan Walker, decided to melt them and covered the apples with the melted caramel, creating an immediate classic.   Kraft Foods continues to print the recipe for caramel apples on the backs of their caramel bags!

In 1960, Vito Raimondi, with the help of his uncle William Raimondi, invented and patented the first caramel apple machine.  Thanks Vito!

Soft and Chewy Caramel Recipe

If all you know about caramel comes from a cellophane wrapped brick from the grocery store or inside your favorite candy bar when you’re “not going anywhere,” you’re in for a treat! Welcome to real caramel. Typically, the mortar that holds other candy ingredients together like our homemade Snickers bars, caramel can be extraordinarily decadent all on its own.  I’m going to give you my recipe for a basic caramel and then a few ideas for additional flavors you might like to try at home. This will make a soft and chewy caramel that you can cut into squares. Check out my page on enrobing to make your version of our Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels or Gophers. Enjoy!

Ingredients:   *Note: Measurements are in weight for accuracy which is usually preferred in candy making.

•1Lb (2 1/3 cups) granulated sugar

•13.5oz (1 2/3 cups) heavy whipping cream

•10.5oz (3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) liquid glucose   *You can substitute another liquid sugar such as light corn syrup, invert sugar, honey, or maple syrup if you don’t have glucose but, of course, your flavors and possibly texture may vary.

•5.25oz (2/3 cup) butter

•.7oz (1tsp) vanilla

Recommended tools:  Heavy bottom medium to large sauce pan, rubber spatula/scraper, candy or kitchen thermometer, parchment paper or silicone baking mat, cookie sheet(s), double boiler or microwave safe bowl, spoon or ice cream scoop, pastry brush, dipping fork

Directions:

1.  In a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot, combine sugar, whipping cream and liquid glucose.  Cook the sugar/cream/glucose mixture over medium high heat. Stir at the beginning of the process to incorporate all ingredients.  Once you have a smooth mixture, stop stirring and use a wet pastry brush to brush down the sides of the pot to remove any sugar crystals.

2. Cook to 252°F (122°C). Remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla, and salt.

3. Pour into a parchment lined pan or silicone mold and allow to cool completely. Do not scrape the bottom of the pan.

Chef’s notes:  Foil greased with cooking spray will also work to line the bottom of your pan, but I find parchment and silicone are easier to work with for caramel.   Try infusing the cream by steeping it overnight with lemon or orange zest, coffee, tea, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, ginger pink peppercorns, chilis, or any number of imaginative flavors.

Have fun and tell me how it goes!

Now, don’t let Easter sneak up on you like the Easter Bunny…order from our great selection now for that Extra Ordinary Delight in the Easter basket (or for the Easter Bunny 😉) and make this Easter a little extra special - you deserve it!

Don't funny bunny around – eodfudge.com is an egg-cellent way to save on the best Easter candy you’ve ever had!

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