Brixton Recipe: Supermalt Caramels

malt caramels

I like to make homemade gifts at this time of year for those occasions when you are invited to  visit people’s homes or families unexpectedly and don’t want to simply grab a generic bottle of wine or box of chocolates from the corner shop to take with you. The lebkuchen from this month’s Brixton Bugle are a good option, but I particularly love to make sweets as a Christmas treat.

This year I’ve been experimenting with caramel in all its many gorgeous forms from a salted sauce to dulce de leche and so my festive sweeties just had to be homemade chewy caramels. I’ve given them a bit of a twist with a splash of Supermalt and a spoonful or two of malt extract to make them especially moreish.

They are very easy to make although you will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe. You can get one relatively inexpensively from Morleys. I wrapped my caramels in some gorgeously festive gingham waxed paper from Ebay but greaseproof paper will work just as well.

Supermalt Caramels (makes 50-60 approximately)

  • 175ml condensed milk
  • 60g salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 75ml Supermalt
  • 2 tablespoons malt extract (I bought mine at Holland and Barrett)
  • 160g golden syrup
  • 250g white sugar

Start by lining a 8 inch square dish or baking tray with greaseproof paper. Oil it lightly with a flavourless vegetable oil and set it aside.

Pour the condensed milk in a saucepan and add the butter, salt, Supermalt and malt extract and heat lightly until it is all melted together but don’t allow it to boil. Take it off the heat and set aside. If you are making the caramels on an electric cooker, do this on one of the back rings so you have a cold area to move the pan of sugar to at the front as this makes it easier to control the temperatures.

In a large deep pan (I used my cast iron Le Cresuet) heat the the sugar and the golden syrup together on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to help melt the sugar and prevent it burning. Once it is all molten, turn the heat up and without moving the sugar around too much, heat it to 155℃. Use your thermometer here to be accurate and keep a keen eye on the pan. Sugar tends to gather heat quickly so don’t get distracted.

Take the pan off the heat the second it hits 155℃ and pour in the still warm condensed milk mix. It may spit and bubble slightly so be careful. Stir it well to make sure it is smooth and return it to the heat until it reaches 127℃. Take it off the heat again and pour it into your lined tray.

Leave the caramel to cool for about 5 hours. Then use the greaseproof paper to lift the slab of caramel out and cut it into bite sized squares and wrap in 10cm squares of waxed or greaseproof paper. The caramel is still soft enough to roll it and then twist the ends. I got about 60 from each batch despite eating a few just to check you’d all like them. If you have more willpower than me, they’ll keep for about two weeks in an airtight container.

If you need more than one batch, it’s best to make them separately rather than double the quantities as it’s harder to control the temperature of the sugar in large amounts. You can adapt the flavour to anything you fancy. I quite fancy doing a batch of Irish coffee flavoured ones next…