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PFox

How do I stabilize chewy caramels?

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If you didn't read my into, I'm Fox from Vegas. 

 

I found this recipe for chewy caramels made with butter online. When I made it, a lot of people loved the chewiness and the taste, but I had trouble stabilizing the caramels when packaging. It melted at room temp, so I tried again making it again to the hard ball stage, but it still melted at room temp. (When I say melted, I mean sticky to the paper) I wasn't sure if I needed to change the recipe, but I would like to understand how I can keep it from becoming a mess. I've bought store-bought chewy caramels and they never had this problem, or it's not as messy.

 

Can anyone help me with this dilemma? Thanks.   

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What kind of paper are you using to wrap them?  Some people like waked paper, I use cellophane.

 

You can try cooking them a few degrees hotter if they are too soft.  If the texture is good but they are too sticky, you an try more invert sugar and/or more butter.

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This looks like a job for Chocolot - but I suspect she will suggest more milk protein. 

 

And Welcome Fox from Vegas!


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Need a little more info. Can you post recipe? What temp did you cook it to? Does it hold its shape when cut? Any pix?

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Here's the original recipe: Brown Butter Caramels  

 

I cooked it to about 250 F, about the hard ball stage. It hold's it form to a point, but the top layer starts to melt and sticks to anything around room temp. Making eating the caramels a mess. People want to put it in their hand or pocket and it starts going through the packaging.

 

I was thinking adding less butter, or maybe using condensed milk? I'm trying to make some more adult flavored caramels, meaning not making it too sweet. My version on the recipe is I usually slightly burn the sugar ,and the butter, to a darker color then add in a dash of whiskey for a smoky taste.

 

But it's super tough to cut through when frozen, but once I got the knife hot it started losing it's form. When I packaged them into wax paper to started sticking to the opening making it difficult to eat. 

 

I sadly don't have any pictures, but I think I will remake them and post them on here later to get a better picture of what I'm talking about. 


Edited by PFox (log)

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That recipe is for a caramel sauce. You could cook the mixture to a higher temp for a firm chewy caramel, but the shelf life wont last long, you need to add a glucose, which is not present in that recipe, without it the caramels will crystallize and lose the chewy texture. Also, you should not have to freeze anything when making caramels. Its only natural that the caramel you make firms up in the freezer, unless you wrap them and plan on storing in the freezer. It sounds like your problem is that your basically making a thick caramel sauce, freezing, and trying to wrap when solid. When the caramels come back to room temp, they will be way too soft. My personal opinion is that instead of trying to fix a recipe meant for a sauce, search for one that will yield the chewy caramel your after, then tweak that one if necessary. Additionally, you mentioned making the caramels 'not too sweet.' Remember that it is mainly a sugar mixture, you cant necessarily cut back on the sweetness and still expect the product to hold up the same.

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if you want to decrease sweetness, sub in some isomalt for sugar. It has similar properties to sugar but is about half as sweet.

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Agree with minas6907. 

 

I cook caramels to 258F, I think you need 255-260F depending on the formulation to have something that will stay solid-ish.  And you will want some invert sugar to prevent crystallization as well.  Glucose doesn't add flavor, or I like Lyle's Golden syrup because it adds its own caramel notes.

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@pastrygirl How does invert sugar's de compare with glucose?  I had read that glucose was less sweet than sugar, but I don't know how it compares to invert sugar

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12 minutes ago, KennethT said:

@pastrygirl How does invert sugar's de compare with glucose?  I had read that glucose was less sweet than sugar, but I don't know how it compares to invert sugar

 

:$ I don't know, I was using invert sugar as a general term - glucose syrup, corn syrup, cane syrup (I use Lyle's now but I've also used the darker Steen's), honey, maple syrup - all those liquid sugars seem to work in caramels.  Maybe I'm using the term wrong, but I meant the overall category, not specifically Trimoline or another product.

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As was mentioned, you need a different recipe. What are you using for a thermometer? Have you adjusted the temp for Las Vegas altitude?

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