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The Zen of Wrapping Caramels


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42 replies to this topic

#1 Joni

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 08:17 AM

The soft caramel recipe is absolutely delicious..and my friend, the caramel expert, says these are the best she has ever had. Now...I would like to make them as "party favors" (for about 60 people) for an event...how would you wrap them individually to make them appealing...in saran wrap?? Then put them in some bags with a ribbon? Or just cut them into squares and put them into small boxes?

#2 Gary

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 08:46 AM

I've used colored square foils to wrap caramels. My wrapping technique isn't so good and they look kind of amateurish... nothing like the results from a candy wrapping machine.

My next try will be using Waxed Twisting Paper... just like they use for taffy. The wrapping process (twisting) should make them look very professional. The only thing is that everyone expects taffy inside waxed paper... not caramel. Oh well.

I found that the colored foil got really wrinkled during my hand wrapping process. Fortunately, everyone loved the soft caramels so much and didn't look at the foil too closely. Is there a special technique for wrapping with foil?

#3 andiesenji

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:03 AM

I believe that the taffy wrap is a good idea. I buy a box of the pre-cut wax paper squares at Smart & Final (used for separating slices of cheese, meats and etc.)
I dust mine lightly with rice flour before wrapping as that will prevent sticking for a time but if they are left for any extended period they will still stick.

If you want to make sure they don't stick you can cut the Reynolds Release foil into squares and use that. It works great for sticky candy.
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#4 slbunge

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:25 AM

Made soft caramels for holiday favors and we cut regular waxed paper into squares (4x4 inch squares for 1x1 inch caramels), wrapped the caramels on the diagonal and twisted the ends. Though chewy, the caramels did not stick to the paper, even after shipping home to family. In all, they looked a bit 'rustic' but everyone raved about what was found inside.
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#5 niobe

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:33 AM

i would cut them into squares and put them in little colorful foil candy cups- and then put in a tiny box- many packaging places have tiny white or gold boxes for candy- some even have inserts that they caramels could fit in.

I think you'll make yourself crazy trying to individually wrap each one- and i dont see the visual or taste benefit to it

#6 Trishiad

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:39 AM

hmmm, i think i'd wrap them in chocolate and call it a day.

#7 emmalish

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 03:01 PM

This is a potentially stupid question (keep in mind I'm still fairly new here), but the caramel recipe is referred to as if we all know which one it is. Does it exist here somewhere? Does everyone know it except me?

Personally, I would go to the trouble of wrapping them in the waxed twisting paper (thanks for the links!), but then again, I think Trishiad's got the right idea. :wub:

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#8 Gary

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 06:02 PM

Here is the eGullet thread for soft caramels. I made it. Very good results. Am planning on trying again tonight with twist wax paper wrappers. Will post photos tomorrow... if there is any left.

#9 emmalish

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 06:25 PM

Thanks Gary! I found that thread, but I wasn't sure that was the recipe that was being discussed. Can't wait to see the pics, even if it's only a pic of one caramel. :raz:

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#10 alanamoana

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 07:32 PM

they make food grade cellophane that you usually see in bag form (cello bags) that people use to package large cookies or candies. at any rate, they sell it in sheets or on rolls or even cut into individual squares that we used to use to wrap nougat and soft caramels at work. it looks nice and professional. the transparent cello is also very aesthetically pleasing.

#11 Gary

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 08:44 PM

Another success... in spite of my 3 year old "helper" who spilled a half cup of cream all over the stove. :rolleyes:

Here are some photos from tonight's adventure...

Cooking the caramel. Recipe as printed works well in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Watch out for the bubbles 'cause they get close to the top. A quick stir and they are back down again. Doubling the recipe DEFINITELY needs a larger pan.
Notice the spilled cream on the stove. Nice huh?!?
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Poured into a pan lined with parchment paper sprayed with Pam
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Cooled and ready to cut
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Ready to wrap
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Wrapped
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All done
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They taste AWESOME.

#12 Joni

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:21 AM

Wow, Gary!! Thanks so much everyone. Off to try to find where to buy the confectionary cello wrap!!

#13 slbunge

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:52 AM

There is also a good recipe on Epicurious (here) for Fleur de Sel caramels. This is the recipe I used over the holidays and had very good luck. Temperature control is critical to softness and my first batch came out a bit on the firm side which allowed me to get a feel for how well my thermometer calibrated to what they indicated in the recipe (mine may read low).

Thanks Gary for the pictures. I don't have a three year old around and there have been times when there is cream on the stovetop. Arrgh!
Stephen Bunge
St Paul, MN

#14 Gary

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 01:17 PM

Well... 12 hours later I am finding the twisty wax paper is total crap for keeping these caramels soft. They are now hard as a rock and (nearly) inedible. A few are soft (maybe they were twisted tighter) but most are significantly harder.

I do NOT recommend this wrapping method even though it looks good. The foil wrap makes a better seal. Maybe these require a double wrap (foil followed by wax paper). I would have been better off just wrapping the entire brick of caramel in Saran wrap and slicing off pieces as needed.

Total bummer. :angry:

On the plus side, my two loaves of French bread just came out of the oven and they look GREAT... thanks to Julia Child and her great cookbook "The Way To Cook".

#15 Trishiad

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:22 PM

a good soft caramel should stay soft regardless of wrapping. my guess is that that perfect looking batch of caramel was going to harden no matter what. bummer

trish

#16 Gary

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:27 AM

Maybe I didn't add enough liquid to the mix after the spill on the stovetop. I made a guesstimate of a half cup. Maybe insufficient cream was the reason the hardened.

They sure tasted soft and delicious right after they cooled for an hour. Twelve hours later they were hard. I will try making them again... without my assistant.

#17 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:44 PM

Thanks to VivreMange starting a thread about Jacques Genin and the wonderful flavours mentioned in it, I find myself experimenting with fruit purees in caramels.

Normally I'd dip caramels in chocolate rather than wrapping them, however I'm not sure I want to hide the flavour of these ones under chocolate. So that leaves me with a whole bunch of little squares that are resisting my attempts to wrap them.

I followed John DePaula's advice about cooling the caramel before cutting, that was a godsend. It made using the double handled cheese knife to cut the caramels a breeze. I had taken a dollar store flexible cutting board, marked squares on it to guide my knife cuts.

So now I have a whole bunch of soft little caramel squares that need wrapping.


HELP!!!

#18 John DePaula

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:10 PM

Ha! I certainly feel your pain, Kerry! (And I have the carpal tunnel to prove it!) I can’t express strongly enough how much I dislike wrapping caramels. But I’ll try… :rolleyes:

Ok, seriously, I’ll try to explain how we did it at Genin’s shop. Our caramels were cut into rectangular blocks roughly 1.5” x 1/2” (4cm x 1.3cm) each.

1) Lay out your clear plastic caramel wrappers in a big grid. Mine are about 3x3” (~8x8cm).
2) Position a caramel centered and straddling the bottom edge of the square.
3) Roll up until you have all but the last turn done.
4) Proceed to the next one, and so on.
5) When you have 10 or 15 done, slide an offset palate knife under the column and transfer them to a cookie sheet. One caramel sits atop the little flap of the previous caramel, if that makes any sense.
6) When sheet is full, chill for about 15 minutes; retrieve from frigo and twist each end simultaneously and in opposite directions for a total of 3 times for each side.

Voila! Caramel Accomplished!
John DePaula
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#19 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:19 PM

I have some wrap that seems to hold a twist reasonably well, but I think I need to find some that is made specificially for caramel wrapping - any thoughts as to a supplier?

I'm sitting in front of the TV right now, twisting, and twisting, and twisting. 3 twists just doesn't seem to do it.

I think that cutting the caramels to the size you suggest and starting with the right sized pieces of wrap will help.

Thanks John.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 15 May 2007 - 07:23 PM.


#20 laniloa

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:42 PM

I've had great results with these that someone recommended in another thread. They hold like a charm.

#21 John DePaula

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:48 PM

I have some wrap that seems to hold a twist reasonably well, but I think I need to find some that is made specificially for caramel wrapping - any thoughts as to a supplier?

I'm sitting in front of the TV right now, twisting, and twisting, and twisting.  3 twists just doesn't seem to do it.

I think that cutting the caramels to the size you suggest and starting with the right sized pieces of wrap will help.

Thanks John.

View Post

Here you go:
Clear Cello 4x4 Sheets from Glerup Revere Group.

I bought mine from a local candy / cake deco store but these look identical. (I remeasured them and mine are 4x4" also).
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#22 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:18 PM

Thanks John and Laniloa for those links to the cello, I'll check tomorrow and see who sells to Canada. I wasn't able to find a similar product from any canadian packaging companies, although I'm sure they are out there somewhere.

#23 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:01 AM

I am now the proud owner of 10,000 of the 4X4 cello sheets. (minimum orders and all that)

Second batch of caramels made, half passion fruit, half mango. Less cream than before. Much more tendency to want to burn while cooking. I'll let you know how they taste once they are ready to be cut.

#24 mrose

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:54 AM

I am now the proud owner of 10,000 of the 4X4 cello sheets.  (minimum orders and all that)

Second batch of caramels made, half passion fruit, half mango.  Less cream than before.  Much more tendency to want to burn while cooking.  I'll let you know how they taste once they are ready to be cut.

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Let us know recipe when you are done. I am very interested on how they taste. Also let me know if you want to sell some of the cello?

Mark
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#25 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:05 PM

Ok, second batch, mango and passion fruit. A lot less cream. A tiny bit of vanilla at the end. Very intensely fruit flavoured. Sticky however, difficult to cut, and a little firmer that batch number 1.

Next experiment - repeat batch one, with passion fruit in place of mango, take it a couple of degrees higher to make it a bit firmer. If it turns out more intensely fruit flavoured then I'll know the type of fruit is responsible for the intensity of flavour.

#26 alanamoana

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:52 PM

a little late on the chiming in, but i usually skip the fridge-ing part and just wrap with no problems. roll the sucker up in the cello square and place your thumbs pointing inward against the caramel. you should have one thumb up and one thumb under and simultaneously twist the wrapper in opposite directions (one side toward you and one side away from you). repeat to secure the twist and you should be fine. it might loosen a little, but the double twist usually works fine.

i'm sure i made something completely simple sound much more difficult than it is!

good luck kerry!

#27 prairiegirl

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:03 AM

Kerry,
Did you use a Canadian source?

#28 Kerry Beal

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 12:20 PM

Kerry,
Did you use a Canadian source?

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No, couldn't find a Canadian source, so I went with the Glerup Revere Group because the price was good.

#29 John DePaula

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 04:38 PM

Ok, 'tis the season and I'm wrapping a lot of caramels.

This task kinda drives me crazy! :wacko:

Lately, I've been putting on old French language tapes (French in Action by Capretz). I love that stuff and it helps slow the loss of a 2nd language for me.

What do you do to combat the tedium when you're working long hours at mundane tasks?
John DePaula
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#30 mrose

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:19 PM

Ok, 'tis the season and I'm wrapping a lot of caramels. 

This task kinda drives me crazy!  :wacko:

Lately, I've been putting on old French language tapes (French in Action by Capretz).  I love that stuff and it helps slow the loss of a 2nd language for me.

What do you do to combat the tedium when you're working long hours at mundane tasks?

View Post



I listen to a lot of books on tape since I always work alone & a session is at least 4 - 5 hours
Mark
www.roseconfections.com