Vanilla-Fennel Lard Caramels

Adapted by
November 2013
Yield: 40 caramels


2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
¼ cup ground fennel seeds
2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
4 tablespoons lard
½ teaspoon salt


In a small pot, combine cream, vanilla bean, and ground fennel seeds; heat to a scald then remove from heat and infuse 1 to 2 hours. In a medium pot, combine sugar and corn syrup and cook to 305°F. Add lard and salt; then strain flavored cream into the caramel. Cook to 245°F.  Spoon a small dollop of caramel onto a piece of parchment paper and cool to test the texture. If caramel is too hard add a little more cream; if it is too soft bring to a boil once more and test again. Once desired texture is achieved, pour onto a parchment-lined 6-inch square pan and stand until set, at least 4 hours. When caramel is set, cut to desired size and wrap in wax paper.