These earl grey caramels are smooth, chewy and incredibly addictive! Tea-infused caramels are easy to make and a fun addition to any holiday treat bag!
After making quite a few batches of soft espresso caramels, we’ve started experimenting with tea infused candies! And while this recipe will work with anything from rooibos to thai tea, our absolute favorite flavor has been earl grey. The black tea balances the sweetness of the caramel while the bergamot brightens the flavor. That combination makes these melt-in-your-mouth candies irresistible!
The process for making these soft caramels is pretty standard, we’ll just be using tea-infused heavy cream instead of regular. To infuse heavy cream, just follow these steps:
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it just begins to bubble.
- Stir in the tea and remove from heat. Cover and steep until the cream develops a strong flavor.
- Strain and discard the solids.
- Return the heavy cream to its original volume.
how long should I steep the tea?
The steeping time will depend on the type of tea you use, as well as its strength and quality. About 15 minutes is perfect for a high quality earl grey tea. If you decide to try a different type of tea, just make sure to adjust the steeping time as necessary. Herbal teas can steep a bit longer, but you’ll need to check on green teas a bit sooner as they can easily become bitter.
can I use tea bags?
I’ve used tea bags several times when making this recipe and they work great! I would suggest using three tea bags per recipe and removing the tea from the bags. Because the contents of tea bags are smaller than leaves, you may need to use cheesecloth (as opposed to a fine mesh sieve) to strain out all of the particles.
tips and tricks for making soft caramels
to stir or not to stir
Stirring sugar syrup is generally not recommended as it can cause crystallization, which makes for a grainy texture. But we also have corn syrup in our lineup, which helps prevent crystallization and makes stirring the mixture a viable option. I find that the benefits of stirring the caramel (namely avoiding burning the batch) outweigh the costs — especially for beginners. Just take care to stir carefully and avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan as best as you can.
adjust the heat as necessary
We recommend cooking your caramel over medium heat. For more control over your caramel and to ensure your mixture doesn’t burn, you can reduce the heat to low or medium-low once the caramel begins to take on color. This will make the process a bit longer, but it can be worth it to make sure your caramel comes out perfectly!
have a candy thermometer handy
Temperature is incredibly important for candy making. By far the easiest and most foolproof way to test that your caramel has reached the correct stage is to use a candy thermometer. If you’re someone who makes caramels often and can generally determine its readiness by color and texture, I would actually still recommend using a thermometer for this specific recipe. The tea will alter the color of the cream a bit, which makes going off color a bit more difficult.
storing soft caramels
Once the caramels have cooled, you can cut and individually wrap them using cellophane or wax wrappers. Store the wrapped caramels in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They will keep for several weeks.
Looking for more recipes perfect for the holidays? Check these out!
- soft gingerbread cookies + chocolate liqueur glaze
- chocolate chip marzipan cookies
- gingerbread cupcakes + cinnamon cream cheese frosting
- zimtsterne | german cinnamon star cookies
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