Go Back

Bourbon Old-Fashioned Caramels


  • 1 c/200g sugar
  • 3 tbsp/45g butter cut in pieces
  • ¼ c + 1 tbsp/75ml cream
  • 2 tbsp/30ml bourbon
  • 2 dashes vanilla bitters or ½ tsp/2ml vanilla extract
  • 1 dash angostura bitters
  • 8 oz/225g dark chocolate 50-60% cacao


  • 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/).