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Orange Caramels

User Rating 2 Star Rating (1 Review)

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orange caramels
(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Smooth caramels get a double dose of orange flavor from orange juice concentrate and candied orange peel. I love these dipped in chocolate, but you can omit that step if you’re short on time or prefer your caramels less embellished.

The candied orange peel in this recipe is optional, but it adds a nice texture and an extra citrus boost to the caramels. If you want to use it, you can either make your own using this recipe for candied peel, or buy it from well-stocked grocery stores or baking supply stores.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 stick softened butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel, plus extra for decoration
  • 8 ounces (1.5 cups) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Preparation:

1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, corn syrup, and orange juice concentrate. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

3. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer and continue to boil the candy, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 230. Add the softened butter and the cream gradually, so that the boiling does not stop, and continue to stir occasionally. Continue cooking the candy until it reaches 245 degrees.

4.Once the correct temperature is reached, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped orange peel. Once the candy is well-combined, pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Allow the caramels to set at room temperature for several hours, or overnight.

5. Once set, cut the caramels into small squares. If you are omitting the chocolate step, they can be served immediately, or wrapped individually in waxed paper or cellophane to store or give as gifts.

6. To dip the caramels in chocolate, place the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave to melt the chocolate, stirring after every minute to prevent scorching.

7. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly, then dip individual pieces into the chocolate using dipping tools or two forks. While the chocolate is still wet, place a sliver of candied orange peel on the top as a decoration. Place the dipped pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet, and allow them to set in the refrigerator.

8.Store chocolate-dipped caramels in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

User Reviews

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 2 out of 5
not really a caramel..., Member englishvoodoo

Caramels are called caramels because the sugar used to make them is caramelized, cooked until it turns reddish-brown. This gives it a nicely complex flavor, slightly bitter. This recipe doesn't caramelize the sugar at all, maybe these should be called toffees instead... I did try this recipe anyway, and had serious problems with the temperatures given. This isn't the first time I've cooked toffee but it was the first time i used a candy thermometer. Previously I've relied on dripping a little into cold water to determine consistency, which works just fine. I followed the instructions exactly, waiting until 230 to add the cream and butter, then heating to 245 before adding the orange peel and pouring into the tin to set. The problem came when I tried to cut it into pieces the next morning - it was way too soft, and oozed out of shape immediately. Checking a few other caramel recipes, I found that everyone else gives a temperature of 260 for a soft caramel, and 265 for a firm caramel. I eventually resorted to re-melting and heating my overly gooey 'caramel' to 265 (not easy) and it set perfectly. The taste isn't fantastic, nicely orangey but since the sugar isn't caramelized, it just tastes sweet with not much character. In future if I made this again, I would caramelize the sugar before adding the syrup and OJ concentrate, probably substitute molasses for about half the corn syrup anyway, and heat to the correct temperature!

11 out of 12 people found this helpful.

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