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Creating Ginger Caramels


Panaderia Canadiense
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OK, so here's a question for all of you confectionary gurus: do you think it would be a terrible waste of my ingredients to try making ginger caramels using a panela-ginger 2:1 sugar:water syrup as my sugar base? Would they turn out the way I'm imagining, which is chewy creamy gingery goodness, or would it just be a pan full of awful yukk and a frustration?

If you think it would work, what proportions of syrup to cream should I be looking at? Is there anything else I should be adding? And finally, I normally shave 18 F off of my boiling temperatures to account for my extreme altitude - I should do the same with these, yes?

Thanks in advance.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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OK, but what I've got is an excess of heavy ginger syrup - it's a byproduct of candied ginger, and I can only use so much of the stuff for my own ginger-ale and whatnot. So, rather than infusing the cream, I've pre-infused the sugar component, if that makes sense. I'm gratified that you think they'll be tasty, though - it's always good to have a second opinion.

So here's a fresh question: since I'm not infusing the cream (it's a waste of ginger for me) but rather starting with a pre-infused syrup of approximately the right ratio according to my gran's caramel recipe (which is my gold standard, and calls for 2.5:1 brown sugar:water - I'll be adding just a hint more sugar to bring it up to par), it should be as simple as bringing the pre made syrup up to temperature, then adding the warm butter/cream mixture?

I'll be giving this a bash probably at the next weekend - I'll definitely post back with results!

EDIT: should I be salting these, or just try salting half?

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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What you're wanting to do should work fine. I'd add a little glucose, cook it to temp (which is going to get the water down to where it should be) and proceed as usual. It may take longer to get it to temp due to the additional water but I don't see any potential actual problems. Sounds tasty.

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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Ginger is incredibly persistent - it carries through when I caramelize the same syrup for certain IMBC types, so I'm not that worried about loss or masking of flavour.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I make a ginger caramel replacing the water in my formula with "ginger water" from grating fresh ginger. The flavor persists through the cooking process and is deliciously spicy.

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Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Are you thinking a traditional caramel or a Maillard caramel? The temp shave should be the same. 2 F for each 1000 ft.

Traditional 2-step caramel. Syrup to hard ball, then add warm cream/butter, stir like mad, cook to 235 F, then vanilla, stir, and pan. I'm at 10,000 feet of altitude, give or take about 5 feet; I've been using an 18 F adjustment with good results - the 20 F recommended for this altitude doesn't give me proper hard ball consistency - it doesn't carry far enough, especially with the brown sugars.

ETA - Do you think a Maillard caramel would work this way? I make my own cajeta, manjar, and dulce de leche, but I've never tried to thicken it far enough to make "proper" chewy caramels…..

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)
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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I think the Maillard is the only way. The brown sugar won't caramelize, it will burn. Do what you are doing, and I wouldn't worry too much about how much extra sugar you are using. Do you use any glucose? Use at least half as much by weight as the sugar. The more glucose, the more cold flow you will get, but the less chance of sugaring.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
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I use about 25% of the weight of the sugar syrup in glucose at this point; I'll try upping it a bit but not too much because I want stiffer caramels that I can wrap. It's summer here right now, and too much cold flow is a very bad thing….

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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  • 4 years later...

Hi...  I know this thread is older, however I just came across it.. Caramels with Ginger sound amazing! I use the Maillard method and wonder if there is a "standard" rule of thumb regarding how much fresh grated ginger you would use per what number of OZ of milk/cream for making Ginger infused caramels? Any help would certainly be appreciated, glad I came across this today. Also how long do you infuse the ginger with the milk/cream? I realize this probably or does vary, any pointers would be appreciated more than I can express!  Thank you folks! 

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On 11/2/2018 at 5:12 PM, djpittsburgh said:

Hi...  I know this thread is older, however I just came across it.. Caramels with Ginger sound amazing! I use the Maillard method and wonder if there is a "standard" rule of thumb regarding how much fresh grated ginger you would use per what number of OZ of milk/cream for making Ginger infused caramels? Any help would certainly be appreciated, glad I came across this today. Also how long do you infuse the ginger with the milk/cream? I realize this probably or does vary, any pointers would be appreciated more than I can express!  Thank you folks! 

It really depends on your taste. Also, you're right, ginger can vary a little, and some may be more potent than others. If it were me I would try it out with a small batch - maybe a couple lbs total for all ingredients, and I'd probably just throw a few 1/8" thick slices of ginger in when the cream is added and cook with the caramel until it's done. Just remove the slices before you pour out the caramel to set. You can always taste the caramel as it's cooking and add more ginger if you don't think the flavor is pronounced enough. If you want to add more ginger but your caramel is close to being done cooking, you can just add a little water to set it back and give it a little more time for the additional ginger flavor to infuse.

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Metztli thank you for your time and response. Makes a lot of sense, this is certainly a way I could try to nail down the flavor profile, certainly should work. I figured perhaps there might be a good starting rule of thumb to follow with allowing ginger or even tea flavors to slowly infuse into the milk/cream over a period of time. I am thinking about other flavors as well as ginger. You point is great and certainly something I will try. If anyone else has any rules of thumb they follow, would be great to hear those as well. Thanks again!

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