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Making Caramel Sauce


EllenC
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I made the sauce early in the day and left it in the pot.  When it came time to use the sauce, it had crystallized.  I reheated the sauce, stirred and it returned to it's liquid state.  I poured it into a thermos, hoping to keep it warm and in its liquid state but in less than 10 mins. it had recrystallized in the thermos.

Perhaps I should have poured it out of the pot as soon as it was made?

I think maybe the problem was that you heated it to too high a temperature in either the first or second round.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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This is how I make the Caramel Syrup:

4 Tablespoons of sugar

In a pot over medium heat melt the sugar.

Observe on the right side were it’s melting at this point move the sugar around al the time. If the melting is too fast... remove and return the pot on the burner repeatedly.

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The color should be like this, medium brown.

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At this point add 1/2 cup of water. It never happened to me to splash, but I would advise that you throw the water in the pot keeping a lid as a shield.

It will form a crust immediately... but after 3 minutes of boiling slow it will start melting.

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Turn the heat off and leave the pot on the burner and cover with a lid.

In about 5 minutes, all sugar will be liquid and very clear.

Add flavorings... this one below had rum in it.

Stay away from it :laugh: ... it is so good... it is out of this world.

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I hope this is what you are looking for.

Edited to add:

Refrigerate before serving 3-4 hours.

Edited by MamaC (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I've had homemade caramel sauce in the fridge for about 5 weeks. It looks fine and tastes fine but I don't want to poison anyone. How do I know if it's safe?

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Well the fact alone that you did not die testing it, is promising. But what I do, is feed it to me & family. I never use anything that old on customers. I've had caramel for longer than that & it's been fine.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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Thanks K8memphis! That's what I was thinking. I need some for a mousse but I think I'll just make up a fresh batch and like you say, feed the rest to my family. :)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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If its just sugar and water, I'd use it indefinetely. If its got cream in it, you'll easilly be able to smell and taste it turning. Even with dairy a caramel sauce will hold much longer than say an anglaise, because of the high sugar level. 5 weeks would be pushing it way past the point though (I think).

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Sherry Yard says her creamy caramel sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 1 month, and I've kept it that long.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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It depends on the water content. Toffees are made with cream, butter and sugar and those last at room temperature indefinitely. This is because they contain almost no residual water.

The looser the sauce, the shorter the shelf life. Even a high water content sauce will last for a very very long time though. A low water content sauce is good for years (think corn syrup) but a high water content sauce is still good for months. I'd say 3 months no problem. Sugar is a very powerful preservative.

Is the sauce solid/unpourable at refrigeration temp? If so, I'd say 6 months easy, but probably much much longer than that.

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  • 2 years later...

I often make fairly large batches of caramel (4x or more the recipe you posted) and I've found you have to be more attentive to the sugar until you get it all melted. I found out the hard way that it can begin to burn in spots on the bottom and still look unmelted and be relatively cool to the touch on top of a large batch even when you think you're keeping it moving pretty well. It seems to make up for it by taking longer to jump from nice and caramelized to burnt than a smaller batch though. Of course it's entirely possible that I'm just a hack and none of that is true but that's been my experience.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Adding a bit of acid such as lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar helps speed along the melting of the sugar. You might try replacing two tablespoons of water with two tablespoons of lemon juice and see how it works for you.

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I start by rubbing the pot with a cut lemon before I start (don't leave any of the membranes in, those will burn); usually I do it dry - no water, no corn syrup, just the lemon and the sugar. Just as Tri2Cook says, it will burn underneath in spots and still be dry in others if you pile in all the sugar at once. Maida Heatter suggested in one of her books to start with just some of the sugar, and sprinkle in the rest as it began to liquefy, and that works well.

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Thanks so much.  Would you use a le Crueset or Club Aluminum? (neither one is nonstick, if that matters).

Id use the Le crueset, at least its enameled cast iron.

I'd recommend against Le Creuset for caramel. It hold so much heat that by the time you get the caramel out of the pot, it's overcooked. At least that was my experience back when my only large pan was LC -- I tried to use it for candy and was really frustrated with the results.

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I know this isn't standard procedure, but it's what I do, and works every time:

I use NO water.

Put the sugar into the pot (a really heavy stainless steel pot, such as All-clad, if you can get your hands on it, works well). Medium high heat. When the sugar begins to soften, stir with a whisk while the sugar melts. You can add a little strained lemon juice, if you like, to hasten this. Keep stirring the entire time, until all of the sugar has dissolved - the sugar will darken as this is happening - then stop stirring and when the sugar is as dark as you want it, add the butter, stir with a heatproof spatula, and add the cream. stir again. It's done, and no burnt sugar.

et

Edited by etalanian (log)

Eileen Talanian

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As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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  • 2 years later...

I've been using Elizabeth Falkner's Caramel Sauce from Demolition Desserts for quite awhile and love it but 2 days in a row now I've made it and it's inedible. So bitter and metallic tasting. My first thought was the aluminum pot was reacting with the cream of tartar but I made it again in a stainless steel pot and had the same result. Is it possible the cream of tartar has somehow gone off? My next step is to try it with fresh cream of tartar but if someone else has experienced this and knows it to be something else I'd be happy to learn from your trial and error. :)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Whats the recipe? I would also recommend as a general rule not making caramel (or anything else for that matter) in a aluminum pot, those things are useless. But like pastrygirl said, leave the cream of tartar out and see how it comes out. But also if youve been making it for some time now, the next step I would take is carefully check all your ingredients.

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Thanks for your replies. I quadrupled the following recipe:

2 oz water

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

7 oz sugar

1-1/2 oz light corn syrup

1/2 oz unsalted butter

8 oz heavy cream

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

I know there's a million ways to make caramel. It just so happens that I've tested this one in my Caramel Ripple Marshmallows and it's worked out well. There seems to be a good balance of moisture between the sauce and the marshmallow. They aren't weeping at all, they aren't going moldy, the appearance is great, the taste is amazing! I don't know if I need the cream of tartar but I hate to mess with a good thing...or what was a good thing. :wacko:

edited to add the cream :rolleyes:

Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Cream of tartar acts as an acid which helps turn some of the granulated sugar into invert sugar which helps to prevent re-crystalization. You can substitute a few drops of lemon juice.

Can this be substituted in all recipes? Could I do this for pulled sugar?

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