So here is the scoop or slice or what have you, this recipe is by far the most sought after dessert or candy I've ever made, this is a family recipe. So hopefully I'm not disowned for sharing. It's from a family cookbook called Down The Hatch.
This is half the batch:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup golden syrup
1 cup cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla.
This will fill a very well buttered 8 by 8 pan or pie plate.
Cook the first 4 ingredients on medium or med-low heat in a large heavy bottom pot (at least 4 times the size of ingredients measured) until the mixture has boiled, changed color from dark brown to different tones of Amber and when placed in cold water turns solid as it hits the water., (stir throughout the cooking process)
As you'll see in my photos the bubble texture of the boil changes and the thickness does as well.
I pulled my caramel off the heat for less than 1 minute stirring rapidly and added my vanilla and the thickness is ridiculous. It is holding shape. This should be a great indicator you have cooked long enough, you could likely cook a bit less for a softer less chew caramel. (Which I've done many times) caramel is very forgiving, if you under cook it and the texture is not what you wanted grease a new pan and reheat the whole mixture until you are content. (I've done this plenty too.)
In the past I made this until it reached firm ball stage not hard ball stage which is when you drop it in cold water and it immediately firmed up. You can pull it out and taste and see if it's hardened and chewy.
I recently got a candy thermometer and last time I made this I thought perfect, I'll just cook until it reaches hard ball stage on the thermometer. I will warn you now, this will not happen unless you cook on extremely high heat or burn it. Which neither have happened to me, so I can't say for sure. Today when I made it, the thermometer didn't ever go above 223F
Last but not least, one of the times I enjoyed my caramel most was. I had not quite enough cream. Like 3/4 cup, so I topped it up with 3.25% milk and it was really good.
Don't be daunted by my long ramblings. This is a great recipe to try, with very little know how. Just give yourself 30-55 mins of uninterrupted time to stir vigorously!
All combined and melted.
Beginning frothy bubble boil
Extreme mini bubbles
White froth when you stir bubbles
Big huge bubbles