Local caramel fan turned caramel maker Jennifer Gregori recently launched Crack Caramel, whose small-batch caramels don't fall short of her tagline, "Really, truly, honestly the most delicious caramel you will ever chew."
Gregori says she didn't set out to make caramels. "Every year my husband and boys would forget to stuff my stocking," Gregori says, "so I'd order myself some Knudsen caramels from the East Coast. And then one year my older son gave me a candy thermometer.
"I was kind of annoyed. I cook, but I don't make candy."
Or, rather, she didn't. Several months later she pulled the candy thermometer out of a drawer and went into "weird mad scientist mode." And after a year of experimentation, tinkering and tweaking, she settled on a recipe she loved. But she hadn't thought of starting a caramel business until her daughter-in-law (now partner) convinced her that the caramels were too good not to.
Gregori uses only five ingredients: brown sugar, sweet cream butter (Danish Lurpak because that's what she eats on her toast every morning), organic heavy cream, Madagascar vanilla and pink Himalayan salt (what's usually in her cupboard, originally a gift from her mother-in-law). That's it -- no corn syrup, no glucose, no stabilizers. Without these, they are just the right amount of sugary and buttery. And they must be made in very small batches and must be eaten fresh.