This caramel has a goodly bit of salt and a goodly kick of cinnamon. When you taste it on its own, both flavors feel too intense. (If you do intend to serve it as an ice cream topping or over waffles, omit either the cinnamon whiskey or the salt – or else half the amounts of both.) But when you encase the caramel inside dark chocolate, the flavors balance and become something wonderful.
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water, plus additional for washing down the pan
¼ cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon whiskey
Place the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine. Dip a pastry brush in water and wash down the sides of the saucepan to remove any stray sugar crystals. Cook without stirring for around 7 minutes, or until the mixture darkens.
Meanwhile, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and combine with the salt. Crush them together.
Swirl the saucepan until the sugar turns a rich caramel color. Remove from the heat.
Carefully add the cream and whisk until smooth. Add the butter and whisk again. Whisk in the butter, cinnamon whiskey and vanilla salt combination.
Allow to cool completely before using to fill chocolate bonbons.