A candy thermometer is extra helpful when making these fun, yet sophisticated, candies. Deep, dark,
and slightly salty, these caramels should be savored.
- 40 caramels or 20 servings ServingsServings
- 2 cups (470 ml) canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (90 g) semisweet chocolate
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 1 cup (235 ml) light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (112 g) nondairy margarine
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt, for topping
Grease or line with parchment a 9 × 9-inch (23 × 23 cm) baking pan. Or use a silicone baking pan; they work marvelously with caramels and don’t need any prep!
In a 2-quart (1.8 L) saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil over medium heat and then stir in the chocolate chips until melted. Add the sugar and corn syrup and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Add the margarine and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, stop stirring! Let it continue to boil over medium heat, without stirring, until it reaches 240°F (116°C) on your candy thermometer. A good indicator to test for progress, if you are lacking a candy thermometer, is to dip the tip of a wooden spoon into the top of the bubbly mixture. The syrup should stick to the spoon when it is about done.
Cooking time is approximately 35 minutes.
If you think it’s time, take a teaspoon of the syrup and quickly drop it into a very cold glass of water; if it’s ready, you’ll be left with what looks like a caramel. This is referred to as the “firm-ball” stage. You will know it is ready when the ball is firm enough to allow you to remove it from the glass with your fingers and will flatten if you give it a little squeeze.
When the mixture is at the right temperature, stir in the vanilla and quickly pour into your prepared pan. Let cool at room temperature for a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for about 1 hour. Once firm, cut into 40 squares and sprinkle with sea salt. Wrap in waxed paper and store in the fridge.