Gorgeous caramels, with hints of gingerbread, a crisp nutty topping and chocolate bottom. Wrap each in a twist of waxed paper or baking parchment before packing.
Chocolate-dipped ginger caramels
- Preparation time: 35 minutes, plus cooling and setting
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 55 minutes, plus cooling and setting
Makes: about 40
sunflower oil, for greasing
150g caster sugar
150g light brown muscovado sugar
75g golden syrup
50g unsalted butter, diced
300g double cream
½ tsp sea salt flakes
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
50g Chinese stem ginger in syrup (about 3 pieces), finely chopped
50g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
1 Grease a square baking tin (about 17cm x 17cm) and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Put both sugars, the golden syrup, treacle, butter and double cream in a large saucepan. Add the salt, vanilla, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, then place over a gentle heat to melt the butter and dissolve the sugars.
2 Put a sugar thermometer into the pan and continue to cook steadily over a low-medium heat, stirring often, until the caramel reaches 121˚C (‘hardball’ stage). Put the ginger in a large heatproof bowl.
3 Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat and pass the caramel through a metal sieve over the chopped ginger, stirring well to combine. Next, pour the mixture into the prepared tin, leave for a minute to set slightly, then scatter over the chopped nuts in an even layer. Set aside until completely cool and firm – at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
4 Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (or use a microwave), stirring until smooth. Cut the caramels into pieces using a lightly greased, sharp, serrated knife. Dip the underside of each caramel into the melted chocolate, then leave to set firm on baking parchment before wrapping.