These tasty homemade caramels are the perfect thing to make for a sweet snack, party treat or gift bag.
The caramels will keep for up to 2 weeks.
Grease and line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, cream and the scraped seeds from the vanilla bean into a large saucepan. Have the corn syrup, butter and fine sea salt measured and nearby.
Bring the sugar mixture up to a boil on medium high heat while whisking. Switch to a long-handled spatula or wooden spoon (the caramel steams a great deal as it cooks). Once a full boil is reached, add the corn syrup and stir in and continue to stirring constantly while cooking on medium-high, until the mixture registers 242 ºF (116 ºC) on a candy thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes – the mixture will be a pale peanut butter colour (it will continue to darken as it sets). Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the butter and salt and then pour this into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the surface with flaked sea salt and leave this to cool on a cooling rack for at least 4 hours (it takes a while to set.)
Before cutting the caramels, chill the pan for about 90 minutes – this will make it easier to slice the caramels precisely. Once cut into squares, the caramels are best stored in a single layer on parchment in an airtight container.