An amazingly delicious blend of sweet, salty and floral flavours all wrapped up in a soft, chewy treat.
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) heavy cream
2 tsp (10 ml) dried lavender buds
3/4 cup (190 ml) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (190 ml) honey
1 3/4 cup (440 ml) sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan or 11 x 7 inch (28 x 18 cm) rectangular pan
4 quart (3.8 L) stock pot (minimum size as caramel mixture will boil up quite high)
fine mesh sieve
Grease baking pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In medium saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream and dried lavender buds. Bring to a boil. Once it reaches boiling point, immediately turn off heat. Steep lavender for 30 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve liquid. Discard lavender buds.
Measure 2 cups (500 ml) of lavender-infused milk mixture. Pour into large stock pot. Add unsalted butter, honey and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil, stirring frequently. Using a pastry brush, brush down any sugar from the sides of the pot to prevent crystallization.
When the thermometer reaches 240 °F (115.5 °C), known as the soft ball stage, begin stirring constantly until the thermometer reads 248 °F (120 °C) in about 20 minutes. Mixture will have reached the firm ball stage at this temperature.
Immediately remove pot from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Pour into prepared baking pan. Place pan in refrigerator until mixture is cooled and firm to the touch. This will take about 2 hours.
Remove pan from refrigerator and invert onto a cutting board. Turn glossy side up. Cut into one inch (2.5 cm) squares. Store in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper.
Caramels will keep for one week in an airtight container.
Makes about 6 dozen caramel squares
Note: Do not double recipe! Make another single batch, or two, if you want to gift some of these delicious caramels to friends and family.