Bourbon Old-Fashioned Caramels
tbsp/45g butter cut in pieces
+ 1 tbsp/75ml cream
dashes vanilla bitters
or ½ tsp/2ml vanilla extract
dash angostura bitters
oz/225g dark chocolate
Have all caramel ingredients measured out and ready to add.
Melt sugar over low heat in large, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Swirl to redistribute until completely melted. Do not be tempted to increase heat.
Remove from heat and stir in butter until amalgamated.
Return to low heat. Stir in cream all at once.
Cook to hard ball stage (~255-265F on a candy thermometer), stirring occasionally.
Allow to settle (no bubbling) in pan. Add bourbon and bitters. Stir very gently to distribute.
Allow to settle and pour into a smaller container to cool.
Melt 2/3 of chocolate in a bowl over a pot of gently boiling water. Temper if possible*.
Line approximately 30 (1 tbsp) chocolate molds by filling halfway, tilting to coat entire depression and turn upside down, resting at least ½” above non-stick mat or parchment paper.
Allow at least 15 minutes for excess chocolate to start draining.
Run a sharp level edge across flat surface of molds to remove most of chocolate. Return upside-down and allow to set.
Fill each chocolate with 1 - 1 ½ tsp of caramel. Use two spoons or fingers and a spoon.
Melt remainder of chocolate and any non-contaminated excess. Fill caramel filled molds to the top.
Run sharp level surface across the top to remove excess. Allow to set for at least 4 hours (more if warm).
Stick molds in freezer for 2-3 minutes before attempting to unmold. Eat any imperfect ones. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
*Use Real Butter has a good description of how to do so that keeps it simple and unintimidating (http://userealbutter.com/2017/05/10/sous-vide-tempering-chocolate-technique/).