The other day while making shortbread I decided that it’d be better if I made millionaire’s shortbread and dumped a layer of caramel and another layer of chocolate on top. Yep. This sounds like a good idea. And while I waited for my shortbread to cook, I browsed, landing on Sprinkle Bakes‘ Ale and Pretzel Soft Caramels post. Hmm. And while I contemplated the ale and thought about the pretzels I realized that this was indeed the right caramel to top the shortbread.
Not only the shortbread, though. No. The leftover caramel needed to also be dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt. This is logical, right? I thought so.
Salted Ale Caramel Chocolates adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
1 12 oz. bottle of brown or black ale, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup or barley malt syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
12 ounces chocolate melts
sea salt to sprinkle
In a saucepan simmer 1 cup of ale and cook until reduced (about 20 minutes). Be careful as you reach the reduced state not to leave it over the heat for too long. It will start to harden.
While the ale is simmering combine the rest of the beer, sugar, brown sugar, butter, cream, syrup and one teaspoon of sea salt into a large stockpot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until a candy thermometer reaches 244. Stir in reduced beer.
Pour into a 9×13″ pan greased liberally with butter and let it sit for several hours until the caramel is firm.
Once the caramel has set, cut into small squares and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Melt chocolate melts in a double boilers. Retrieve caramels and dip one by one into the chocolate to completely cover. Sprinkle sea salt over just-dipped caramels to finish. Allow to dry until chocolate hardens. Store in airtight containers. Enjoy.
Makes 75-100 caramels.