Chocolate-dipped ginger caramels

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.

  • Preparation time: 35 minutes, plus cooling and setting
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes, plus cooling and setting

Makes: about 40

Ingredients

sunflower oil, for greasing

150g caster sugar

150g light brown muscovado sugar

75g golden syrup

50g treacle

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

Method

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.