I consulted a couple of my cookbooks: Field Guide to Candy and Chocolate and Confections and developed the below recipe. The caramels turned out soft, buttery, and melt in your mouth good. Honestly, they do not taste a bit like beer. In the future, I will probably just stick with vanilla flavoring. Its easier than reducing the beer. I opted out of the pretzels that the original recipe called for, because this recipe was a bit of an experiment already.
Pale Ale Caramels adapted from Chocolate and Confections and Sprinkle Bakes
- 2 cups 20granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 12 oz pale ale, divided
- 24 oz evaporated milk
- 10 oz heavy cream
- 1.5 oz butter (2-3 tablespoons)
- 20 oz Caro syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
In a large saucepan, combine the sugars, remaining ale, evaporated milk, and cream. When making caramel, you want to add the sugar to liquid alone to be sure that the sugar fully dissolves. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add the Caro syrup. This helps to prevent crystallization and gives the caramel chewiness. Bring the mixture to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. With caramel, it is better to have a long slow cook to allow the flavors to develop and prevent burning of the milk products. Once the mixture is up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, add the butter.
When the temperature reaches 239 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the stove. Add the salt and 2 tablespoons of the reduced beer syrup. Pour into a buttered and tin foiled 9x13 pan.
Allow to set and cut into pieces with a well oiled knife. Wrap with wax paper or dip in chocolate. These babies loose their shape so they need to be wrapped. Also, if it is very humid out like it has been in the Midwest here, don't make these without air conditioning. They will not set up well.