1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mild honey
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
2.5 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped
2 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
Spray an 8x8 inch square baking pan and line with parchment. Spray the parchment. Set the pan aside along with a clean, dry spatula.
Combine the sugar, honey, salt and pulp of the vanilla bean in a 3 quart heavy-bottomed pan. Add enough water to make the mixture the consistency of wet sand. Stir the sugar well so that it is completely wet. Wash down the sides with a wet pastry brush so that no sugar crystals are on the sides of the pot. Cook on high heat.
In the meantime, heat the cream in a small pan until hot. Remove the cream from the heat and stir in the chocolate until combined.
Continue cooking the sugar until it is dark amber, or just before it smells like it is going to burn. Swirl the sugar gently by grasping the pot handle to even out the color. Do not stir it. When the sugar reaches the desired color, add the cream and chocolate slowly, whisking quickly. Be careful that the sugar doesn't splatter on you.
Stir the caramel occasionally until it reaches 248°F on a candy thermometer. (This will happen fairly quickly, so be sure to have your pan and clean dry spatula ready.) Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let cool to room temperature, about two hours. Remove the caramel from the pan onto a sprayed cutting board. Cut the caramels with an oiled knife and wrap them in cellophane or waxed paper wrappers.
Store the caramels in an airtight container or give them away as gifts in cellophane bags tied with ribbon.