Makes approx. 60 1/2" caramels
2/3 Cup Lucero Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
Heaping 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1 Cup Sugar
4 tbsp butter
Line a 9inch loaf pan, or other small pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside. If using molds instead, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
First, reduce your vinegar. Pour vinegar into a small pan and heat over high, swirling or stirring occasionally until reduced down to approximately 1/4 Cup. Set aside.
In a small saucepan combine cream, 1/2 tsp salt, and butter, and heat over low heat, stirring, until butter melts and the mixture begins to bubble lightly. Turn off and cover to keep warm.
In a large saucepan (about 4-5 qt), add the sugar and maple syrup. Heat over medium heat and stir to combine. Once all the sugar as been moistened by the syrup, stop stirring and clip a candy thermometer in to your pan. Make sure the syrup is covering the bulb of the thermometer, but that the bulb is not touching the bottom of the pan.
Cook sugar/syrup mixture until it reaches 310 degrees, or hard crack stage, turn down the heat a bit and continue to cook until the candy reaches 340 degrees. Keep an eye on it the whole time to prevent burning, and gently swirl or stir to break up any hot spots.
When candy reaches 340 degrees, turn off heat and add the balsamic vinegar, and the cream/salt/butter mixture. Stir gently until smooth and well combined.
Return to heat, and occasionally gently stir or swirl to avoid hotspots, until candy reaches 260F, or hard ball stage. Remove from heat.
Pour caramel into prepared pan or molds, and allow to cool ten minutes, then sprinkle the 1/4tsp coarse salt over the top of the caramel.
Allow to cool fully before removing caramel from pan. Removing too soon will cause your caramels to spread and lose shape. Give it at least 2-3 hours.
Using a sharp knife cut the caramels into small squares. Wrap cut caramels in parchment or wax paper.