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Extending The Shelf Life of Dipped Caramels


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Hello!  I've been reading these forums for several years and want to thank you all for your advice and help!  (even if you didn't know you helped me!)  :)
 

I've been making sea salt caramels dipped in tempered chocolate for several years.  Last year I did almost 200 dozen - and it almost killed me, LOL!  I'm looking for a way to extend the shelf life of my caramels - currently I get 7-10 days before they start to crystalize.  I've thought about freezing, vacuum sealing, changing my ingredients... but can't find a good solution.  Should I make the caramels ahead of time and freeze then thaw (a process that takes two days) and then dip?  Can I vacuum seal finished/dipped caramels?  My recipe already has corn syrup, should I look at using invert syrup instead?  

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions to help me keep my sanity this season!  :)

 

 

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Would you be willing to share your proportions so those with expertise in this area can help you adjust the recipe?  I suspect that the corn syrup doctor probably needs to be increased to prevent the crystallization.

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As Kerry suggested, you don't have enough corn syrup in the recipe. I would try it with double the amount (1 cup). Also, when you pour it out, are you scraping the pit? The scraping can set up a shear and cause the crystals to form. Let us know how it works.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Hi Ruth - 

 

No, I'm not scraping, but I'm probably letting more "drip" out than I really should.  I'll watch that as well.  If I increase the corn syrup, I'm assuming I take the white sugar down by a little less than 1/2 a cup?

 

Thank you so much!!!

 

Michelle

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I've been making "Grewling's recipie" ( from his book "chocolates & confections")caramel on an almost daily basis forat least 5 years now.  Caramels last at least 3 mths.

 

From memory

1,360 gr whole (3.5% / homo) milk

280 gr 33% whipping cream

680 gr sugar

540 gr corn syrup

 

I cook mine to 110 C.  I've done everything with this recipie: Freezing, rolling out to 2 mm thick, glazing cakes, etc.  Has never crystalized on me yet

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Well, I'm 100% sure that it's "user error" but I messed up the recipe posted by Edward.  Not sure if it's a gram to oz problem or I just didn't do the procedure correctly, but I ended up with a loose, sticky, scorched, milky mess.  When I calculate the whole milk out it came to just over 5 cups, I think that's where I lost it.  Can you walk me through the procedure?

 

Thank you!

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Hi Hawkeye,

 

Leet me tell you a little story to help you a bit with 0z-gram conversions:

 

A looong time ago, my wife (then g-f) and I took a train to Italy.  Among other things she wanted an Italian handbag, and I wanted a leather jacket.  She went crazy converting the prices from Swiss francs to Italian lire, while I just looked for the jacket I wanted and at the lowest price.

 

Don't bother converting!  If the recipie says 1,360 grams, just keep pouring milk until the scale says 1,360, hit the "tare" button and add sugar until the scale says 680 gr., and so on with the corn syrup and cream.   It's that simple.

 

At work, I have a portable electric two burner stove--the kind with cast iron, (solid) burners, a hangover of the '80's I guess.  I set the burner for "3 1/2" on the dial and let the pot "go" without stirring for at least 60-90 minutes.  Once it starts getting some colour and gets thicker, I'll whisk every 5-10 minutes or so.  After about 2 1/2 hrs the mix gets darker and thicker, and registers about 107 on the thermometer--that's when I stand over the pot whisking and babying it for almost 10 minutes until I get the consistecy I want.

 

Hope this helps

Edited by Edward J (log)
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Edward, 

 

Thank you so much for your response!  You are completely correct, I was overthinking it.  A trait, I am sorry to admit, I find myself following quite often.    :laugh:  I'm printing and saving and will be playing around in the kitchen in the next few days.  

 

Thank you!!!!!

 

Michelle

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The recipe intrigued me so I looked it up.

Your memory is almost perfect Edward but a couple little things...

The glucose is 570g and there's also 40g of butter and 1 tsp. salt.

Not much butter for a milk based recipe...  

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  • 6 years later...
Posted (edited)

I've literally just made a batch of Greweling caramels (the condensed milk version) and am looking for some advice about storage. I'm going to be dipping them in chocolate at some point this week. Presumably the earlier the better but how long would the caramel last uncut and undipped? And I suppose I should also ask how long they will last dipped just in case we don't eat them all immediately. Thank you in advance.

Edited by cc.canuck
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17 hours ago, cc.canuck said:

I've literally just made a batch of Greweling caramels (the condensed milk version) and am looking for some advice about storage. I'm going to be dipping them in chocolate at some point this week. Presumably the earlier the better but how long would the caramel last uncut and undipped? And I suppose I should also ask how long they will last dipped just in case we don't eat them all immediately. Thank you in advance.

I've made Grewelings condensed milk version of caramels a lot, you shouldn't have any concerns about shelf life, I know I've had those caramels for at least 6 weeks. In general, if wherever they are stored is warmer, they will crystalize faster, but realistically its been very very few times that I've had caramels crystalize on me. One time in particular comes to mind when I made a snickers type bar. The nougat was intentionally crystallized, it had confectioners sugar added to it so after a few days it would not be so chewy. I did notice that the caramel that was on top of the nougat started to crystalize from the bottom up, so after a few weeks, the caramel layer was no longer chewy. It was still fine, but it did have a texture change. With wrapped caramels or caramels enrobed in chocolate, you wont have those issues.

 

One thing that I would find a little more problematic is cutting them and leaving them on the pan for an excessive amount of time before wrapping or enrobing. If they aren't cooked high enough, or if its a particularly hot day, you could have issues with cold flow, I've experienced that many times myself, so generally I'll just leave the caramels in the frame until the day that I enrobe. All in all, you shouldn't have any major concerns about shelf life.

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4 hours ago, minas6907 said:

I've made Grewelings condensed milk version of caramels a lot, you shouldn't have any concerns about shelf life, I know I've had those caramels for at least 6 weeks. In general, if wherever they are stored is warmer, they will crystalize faster, but realistically its been very very few times that I've had caramels crystalize on me. One time in particular comes to mind when I made a snickers type bar. The nougat was intentionally crystallized, it had confectioners sugar added to it so after a few days it would not be so chewy. I did notice that the caramel that was on top of the nougat started to crystalize from the bottom up, so after a few weeks, the caramel layer was no longer chewy. It was still fine, but it did have a texture change. With wrapped caramels or caramels enrobed in chocolate, you wont have those issues.

 

One thing that I would find a little more problematic is cutting them and leaving them on the pan for an excessive amount of time before wrapping or enrobing. If they aren't cooked high enough, or if its a particularly hot day, you could have issues with cold flow, I've experienced that many times myself, so generally I'll just leave the caramels in the frame until the day that I enrobe. All in all, you shouldn't have any major concerns about shelf life.

Brilliant. Thank you for all of this! I'm going to be able to dip them today but good to know there is a bit of flexibility there.

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14 hours ago, minas6907 said:

I've made Grewelings condensed milk version of caramels a lot, you shouldn't have any concerns about shelf life, I know I've had those caramels for at least 6 weeks. In general, if wherever they are stored is warmer, they will crystalize faster, but realistically its been very very few times that I've had caramels crystalize on me. One time in particular comes to mind when I made a snickers type bar. The nougat was intentionally crystallized, it had confectioners sugar added to it so after a few days it would not be so chewy. I did notice that the caramel that was on top of the nougat started to crystalize from the bottom up, so after a few weeks, the caramel layer was no longer chewy. It was still fine, but it did have a texture change. With wrapped caramels or caramels enrobed in chocolate, you wont have those issues.

 

One thing that I would find a little more problematic is cutting them and leaving them on the pan for an excessive amount of time before wrapping or enrobing. If they aren't cooked high enough, or if its a particularly hot day, you could have issues with cold flow, I've experienced that many times myself, so generally I'll just leave the caramels in the frame until the day that I enrobe. All in all, you shouldn't have any major concerns about shelf life.

Follow up question: have you ever made the chocolate variation of his caramels? The idea of putting the chocolate in at the start frightens me.

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3 hours ago, cc.canuck said:

Follow up question: have you ever made the chocolate variation of his caramels? The idea of putting the chocolate in at the start frightens me.

I've made them for sure, and I do know what you mean about adding the chocolate in the beginning of cooking, seems weird since the mixture will be boiling. Really, it'll be fine, it comes out nicely. You end up with a nice dark looking caramel. Theres very little in Grewelings book that I'd have a different opinion about, the chocolate caramels come out fine.

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9 hours ago, minas6907 said:

I've made them for sure, and I do know what you mean about adding the chocolate in the beginning of cooking, seems weird since the mixture will be boiling. Really, it'll be fine, it comes out nicely. You end up with a nice dark looking caramel. Theres very little in Grewelings book that I'd have a different opinion about, the chocolate caramels come out fine.

I'll be brave and give them a go, then.

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