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Troubleshooting Caramels


Elizabeth_11
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i made a batch of chocolate caramels yesterday using herme's recipe, but this morning i noticed that they are too soft.

any suggestions as to how i may possibly remedy them or an alternate use for  soft caramels? (they taste great)

You could use them to fill molded chocolates. If they're too stiff to pipe cleanly, just squeeze in some, and they'll flow down to fill the space.

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I dont have the recepie with me, so I dont know if they are suppose to be soft, you can always try to recook them to a slightly higher temperature then pour them into frame again.

thanks, i have recooked my caramels to 245F, they set up quite well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Turtles are a favorite with everyone and so I thought I would make some to give away at Christmas time.

What I need to know is how long before December 22 or 23 I can safely make them. I'll use Kerry Beal's caramel recipe made with whipping cream and Guittard milk chocolate to top that. Then pack them in between sheets of waxed paper in air-tight containers.

A local lady is selling the most amazing Florida pecans to raise money for a local charity and I have fallen in love again with the pecan.

All advice welcomed. :smile::smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Turtles are a favorite with everyone and so I thought I would make some to give away at Christmas time. 

What I need to know is how long before December 22 or 23 I can safely make them.  I'll use Kerry Beal's caramel recipe made with whipping cream and Guittard milk chocolate to top that.  Then pack them in between sheets of waxed paper in air-tight containers.

A local lady is selling the most amazing Florida pecans to raise money for a local charity and I have fallen in love again with the pecan.

All advice welcomed.  :smile:  :smile:

Will they be totally enrobed?

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Will they be totally enrobed?

gallery_61273_6218_4046.jpg

Nope, the five pecans will be topped by a blob of caramel which will be covered by a dollop of chocolate. :raz:

Then I'd probably do them about 2 weeks before. If they were totally enrobed, you could probably do them already.

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What would happen if I made peppermint-flavoured caramels (using Kerry's recipe) and added chopped candy canes to it? Would the candy canes just dissolve into the hot caramel? If yes, is there any way I could mix in chopped candy canes without having them melt?

I'm thinking I'd like the crunch of the peppermint.

And about adding nuts...should I add raw nuts (probably pecans) to the caramel while it's cooking, or should I toast the nuts, then add them after the caramel has reached it's temperature (and before pouring it out)?

It's getting might cold here, so it's caramel making time!

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What would happen if I made peppermint-flavoured caramels (using Kerry's recipe) and added chopped candy canes to it?  Would the candy canes just dissolve into the hot caramel?  If yes, is there any way I could mix in chopped candy canes without having them melt? 

I'm thinking I'd like the crunch of the peppermint.

And about adding nuts...should I add raw nuts (probably pecans) to the caramel while it's cooking, or should I toast the nuts, then add them after the caramel has reached it's temperature (and before pouring it out)?

It's getting might cold here, so it's caramel making time!

I suspect the candy canes would disappear due to the liquid from the cream.

Toasted nuts get added after the boil and before pouring out.

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I suspect the candy canes would disappear due to the liquid from the cream. 

Darn. I suppose I could just sprinkle some chopped candy canes after it's cooled a bit, but it's not the same as having them all mixed in!

Toasted nuts get added after the boil and before pouring out.

OK! That's easy enough!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can I make caramel today using Kerry Beal's recipe for Turtles which are to be made in a few days.

I have some thawed whipping cream which never got used in its destined treat and now it's been sitting in the fridge for a few days. I thought I could either make it into caramels, cut them, dip them, etc, or better, if possible, make the caramel and then use it in a couple of days when a friend and I are making turtles.

Thanks :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Can I make caramel today using Kerry Beal's recipe for Turtles which are to be made in a few days.

I have some thawed whipping cream which never got used in its destined treat and now it's been sitting in the fridge for a few days.  I thought I could either make it into caramels, cut them, dip them, etc, or better, if possible, make the caramel and then use it in a couple of days when a friend and I are making turtles.

Thanks :smile:

Shouldn't be a problem.

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Can I make caramel today using Kerry Beal's recipe for Turtles which are to be made in a few days.

I have some thawed whipping cream which never got used in its destined treat and now it's been sitting in the fridge for a few days.  I thought I could either make it into caramels, cut them, dip them, etc, or better, if possible, make the caramel and then use it in a couple of days when a friend and I are making turtles.

Thanks :smile:

Shouldn't be a problem.

Merci bien. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Yesterday's unused defrosted whipping cream has been joined by a much larger portion of whipping cream. These are the defrosted blocks of cream from the freezer. I took out one block from the frozen package to make up the needed mass of cream for the intended batch of caramel and then stupidly left the package on the counter...overnight. Oh yay! :wacko: now I have LOTS of defrosted whipping cream. And now I shall make LOTS of caramel. (Too many things on the go at once and very little brain in gear.) :wacko::wacko::wacko:

My question, please: what is the very best way to heat and melt the formed caramel to use it for the turtles? microwave? over hot water? oven? other?

Thanks. :smile:

Edited in the pm: The caramel turned out fine, except just a tad too hard for turtles. So, following directions from this topic, I softened it up in the microwave and blended in a bit more cream. Then a portion of the butter separated from the caramel. Hardened like ghee. Otherwise all is fine for the turtle making. Can someone please tell me why? :huh:

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I think the best way to softner harder caramel is to remelted ( I usually do it on low heat ) with little bit of water, no adding extra fat, I think there is a topic somewhere here about using water and no extra butter or cream. The caramel might be too saturated with fat?

Vanessa

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I think the best way to softner harder caramel is to remelted ( I usually do  it on low heat ) with little bit of water, no adding extra fat, I think there is a topic somewhere here about using water and no extra butter or cream. The caramel might be too saturated with fat?

Quoting Tri2Cook:

'I know a firm caramel simply warmed to melt over water with a small amount of cream will set again when cooled and be softer. '

The quote above is just one of at least two directing the addition of a small bit of cream when softening caramel.

The last time I overcooked the caramel (I am a flatlander living now at 4500' and unused to it) I added water. OK. This time I added cream and the separating butter is what happened. BTW, the caramel is now just perfect for turtles.

When you say you heat the caramel on low heat, do you mean straight on the heat source or in a double boiler?

I think I'll stick with the water when softening from now on. Thanks. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Remember that you simply removed too much water when you over cooked the caramel. therefore, you only need to add water back to the batch to recook to the proper temp. By adding cream, you added extra fat and it couldn't handle it all. When you have cooked out too much water, just add water back.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Remember that you simply removed too much water when you over cooked the caramel.  therefore, you only need to add water back to the batch to recook to the proper temp.  By adding cream, you added extra fat and it couldn't handle it all.  When you have cooked out too much water, just add water back.

Thanks, Ruth.

I now understand the process better. If only...if only...I had had one of those Mothers at whose knees I could have stood. :biggrin::biggrin:

If I make a thousand mistakes and ask about each one, I will finally get it. It's been one heck of a learning process!

Cooking caramels at 4500 feet, like everything else confectionary-wise, is something to be noted. The caramels were fine as they were originally, if I were simply going to cut them and wrap them; they were too hard to go on a turtle. I had cooked them within 3 degrees of the prescribed 121 degrees. Next time, I cut back even more.

...then there is the confusing discussion about how by the time you have evaporated almost all of the water anyway...how much does the 'boiling temperature of water at high altitudes' factor make a difference in the final product? :wacko:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 1 month later...
Can I freeze caramels?  I have a ton of them, and want to save some for a future trip (end of March).  I was thinking of vacuum packing them (they're wrapped) and sticking them in the freezer.  Bad idea?

If you wrap them well in saran wrap then tin foil, & vacuum seal them, freezing isn't necessary. I have done this and opened them several months later. They were as in the same condition as when packaged.

Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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  • 3 months later...
If you wrap them well in saran wrap then tin foil, & vacuum seal them, freezing isn't necessary. I have done this and opened them several months later. They were as in the same condition as when packaged.

Oops! Thanks, Mark! I did as you suggested, and as far as I know (I was giving them to someone else), they were fine. I'll be doing it again soon, too!

I have some new caramel questions. I picked up some caramels at Le Chocolat de H in Tokyo. The regular caramels suck, but the black sesame ones are awesome! I'd like to try replicating them, but have no idea where to start. Judging from the texture, the caramel recipe is much like the recipe Kerry did for the confectionary class (which is the standard one I use), but they add black sesame paste to it and also some whole sesame seeds.

The matcha one is really good, too. Any idea of how to make matcha ones, too?

The pics are here (I hope).

Oh, one more question. . . when you add nuts to caramel, do you toast the nuts first, or let the heat of the caramel toast them?

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