How to Make Caramel Candy Salted with Soy Sauce
January 28, 2021
Are you a chewy or hard candy type of person? For me, it’s all about the stretchy and pliable chewy variety – from taffy to molasses chews to those fruity tootsie rolls. But there isn’t much better than a perfectly textured caramel, especially when it has a little something extra like soy sauce for a salty, umami flavor. Luckily, it’s easier to learn how to make caramel candy than you might think!
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When I was younger, I vowed to be one of those people who had a bowl of candy on the coffee table as an adult. And these caramels deserve the highest billing in your fanciest candy dish for sure. I can definitely imagine reaching for one (and then sneaking another) and unwrapping to enjoy as an after-dinner treat.
The soy sauce plays the role of the salt in this recipe. Combining salty and sweet is nothing new, since salt acts as a flavor enhancer, multiplying the delicious taste of the caramel. Here, using soy sauce also adds the depth of fermentation. And the result is extra tasty.
What You Need to Get Started
- Pantry: Sugar, Corn syrup, Soy sauce
- Fridge: Heavy cream, Unsalted butter
- Equipment: Loaf pan, Parchment paper, Saucepan, Candy thermometer, Serrated knife
How to Make Caramel Candy
Any time you are making caramel, it’s good to be prepared ahead of time. Get your butter and heavy cream all ready to go, so you aren’t scrambling with a pot on the verge of burning. Then line a loaf pan with parchment paper hanging over the edges.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Although caramel is essentially just sugar, the other ingredients help you get to that caramelization point. Water allows the sugar to dissolve and create a syrup. Corn syrup prevents crystallization when it cools.
Stir everything together over medium heat until the sugar is saturated, then stop stirring and let the mixtures comes to a boil. Allow it to cook, uncovered and without stirring, until the bubbles become quieter and lazier. At this point begin checking the temperature.
The syrup will begin to change color, from clear to a light gold to a darker almost bronze, and it can happen very quickly. Keep an eye on the temperature, and as soon as it hits 325°F, turn off the heat.
Add in the heavy cream, but be careful, because the temperature difference will cause the caramel to seize and bubble up violently. Then add in the butter and turn the heat back on, stirring gently until the butter is melted and incorporated. Continue cooking until the temperature reaches 245°F.
Turn off the heat, and wait a couple minutes for the bubbling to settle down. Then stir in the soy sauce. If you’d like to taste to check the level of saltiness, use a small spoon to drip a little bit of the caramel into cold water. This will cool it down enough that you can taste it without burning your mouth.
When you are working with caramel or other candy, the temperatures can be extremely high. If you get hot caramel on your hand, immediately run it under room temperature water. Don’t put your hand in your mouth, or you’ll burn that too!
Carefully transfer the caramel into the lined loaf pan and let it cool at room temperature for about an hour. Then refrigerate until it’s fully set, preferably overnight. In the meantime, you can begin cutting small pieces of parchment paper for wrapping.
Remove the set caramel from the fridge for about fifteen minutes to soften, then lift it out of the pan to more easily cut it into pieces. Using a long serrated knife, cut the caramel into cubes. If it’s tough, you can let it sit for a few more minutes.
Roll each cube of caramel in between your palms into a log shape and place it on a piece of parchment. Roll the paper around the candy, and then twist the ends in the same direction as you rolled. Repeat for the rest, and you’ll soon have a bowl full of caramel candies!
Are you ready for some sweet and chewy caramel candies? These are salted with soy sauce for some extra fun!
How to Serve
You can make these caramel candies well in advance. Store wrapped caramels at room temperature for a couple weeks in a sealed container, or keep them in the fridge for a few months. If you do store them in the fridge, let the caramels come to room temperature before enjoying.
Serve as part of dessert with complementary flavors, like apples. Try a quick weeknight apple crisp. Or for something a bit more involved, get fancy with a classic apple tart with bourbon rye crust. Apples not your thing? Caramel also pairs wonderfully with coffee ice cream.
Or have them as a small treat alongside a decadent drink like chocolate turtle martinis or a fun and colorful birthday cake martini. For something non-alcoholic, try pairing these caramel candies with a chai white hot chocolate or hot pear cider.
Other Desserts with Caramel
Once you learn how easy it is to make caramel, you will probably want to start cooking up a new batch every week! Here are a few of my favorite recipes that include caramel to get you started:
Chewy Soy Sauce-Salted Caramel Candy
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup Corn Syrup
- ¼ Cup Water
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter
- ¾ tsp Soy Sauce or more to taste
- Before getting started, prepare the butter and heavy cream so they are within easy reach. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper hanging over the edges.
- Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is saturated, then stop stirring while the mixtures comes to a boil.
- Allow it to cook, uncovered and without stirring until the bubbles become quieter and lazier. At this point begin checking the temperature. The syrup will begin to change color, and it can happen very quickly. Keep an eye on the temperature, and as soon as it hits 325°F turn off the heat.
- Carefully add in the heavy cream (it will seize and bubble up) and the butter. Over medium-low heat, stir gently to combine, until the butter is melted an incorporated. Increase the heat to medium, and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 245°F.
- Turn off the heat, and let it bubble down for a couple minutes. Then stir in the soy sauce. If you'd like to taste to check the level of saltiness, use a small spoon to drip some caramel into cold water. This will cool it down enough that you can taste it without getting burned.
- Once you are happy with the flavor, transfer the caramel into the prepared loaf pan. Set aside to cool at room temperature for at least an hour. Then refrigerate until fully set, preferably overnight. Meanwhile cut 36 - 2 x 3 ½" pieces of parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the set caramel from the fridge and let it set at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes until softened. Use the parchment to lift the caramel out of the loaf pan and place on a cutting board.
- Using a long serrated knife, cut the caramel into 36 cubes, in a 9 x 4 grid. Roll each caramel in between your palms into a log-shape, about 1 ½ inches long, and place on a piece of cut parchment, facing in the same direction.
- Roll the parchment around the log, and then twist the ends in the same direction as you rolled. Continue until you have wrapped all the caramels. You can also leave them as cubes and wrap them like presents instead.
- Store wrapped caramels at room temperature for 2-3 weeks in a sealed container, or in the fridge for up to 3 months. Let the caramels come to room temperature before enjoying.