Coffee caramels aren’t too sweet, with the flavor of coffee coming through in every bite. If you like your caramels on the bitter side, increase the amount of coffee to suit your personal preferences; if you prefer them mellower, use less coffee.
Moreover, the combination of coffee caramels with a cup of espresso is especially delicious. The creaminess of the caramel balances out the bitterness in the coffee, and both flavors complement each other beautifully.
Making Coffee Caramels
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 9 x 13 rimmed baking tray
- 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup or liquid glucose
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely ground espresso powder
- Waxed parchment paper, cut into 3-inch squares
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup whole espresso beans (for decorating)
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch rimmed baking tray with parchment paper and lightly grease it with oil.
- Combine the cream, espresso powder, sugars, and butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add in the corn syrup.
- Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and butter have melted.
- Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is thick, bubbling, and reaches 250 degrees F.
- Remove the caramel from the heat and add the vanilla extract and salt.
- Let the caramel mixture cool for about eight hours, then cover and refrigerate for up to one day.
- Once the caramel has cooled, remove it from the pan and cut it into 1 1/4-inch squares. Set these squares aside on a sheet of lightly greased parchment paper.
- Finally, press an espresso bean into the center of each square and decorate it with a light sprinkling of sea salt.
- Store coffee caramels in an airtight container, wrapped in waxed paper or between layers of parchment paper. Enjoy! The caramels can be kept at room temperature for up to one month.
Note: You need to use instant espresso powder, not coffee beans or ground coffee. The reason is ground coffee will have too much moisture in it, which will prevent your caramels from setting properly. Moreover, instant espresso powder has just enough moisture to help bind everything together while letting your caramels set up perfectly.