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Pastry chef Eric Shelton's buttery, chocolate caramels have a full-bodied, deeply satisfying flavor.

From The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg (Hyperion, 2006).


  • Unsalted butter for the pan
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 l/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ounces SCHARFFEN BERGER 62% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons SCHARFFEN BERGER Cacao Nibs, crushed with a rolling pin (optional)


  • Cut a 9 by 17-inch piece of parchment paper. Lightly butter a 9 by 9 by 2-inch pan, and line it with the parchment paper, letting it extend evenly over two opposite sides.
  • Stir together the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a pot with a heavy bottom, and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Bring to a boil and then continue to cook until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate and stir with a heatproof spoon or spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a small offset spatula.
  • Once the caramel has started to set, sprinkle with the nibs and press them in gently. Allow the caramels to cool at room temperature until firm, at least 2 hours.
  • Lift the caramel block from the pan, using the parchment paper "handles," and place on a cutting board. Dip a knife in hot water, dry, and cut the caramels into 1-inch squares, heating (and drying) the knife as necessary.
  • Store the caramels in an airtight container.

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