Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

chows

Factors affecting caramels' firmness

Recommended Posts

I've recently started making caramels and been experimenting with lots of flavors and having a blast. One thing that I am having a hard time finding information about is the role of the different ingredients and how different ratios affect the firmness of a caramel. In particular, I have an espresso caramel recipe that I can't seem to get to the soft, no-effort-while-chewing texture that I've achieved with other flavors, yet I've stuck to the same temperatures as other recipes. This leads me to believe that the ratio of ingredients is key. I was hoping I'd be able to get some insight into how to alter ingredient ratios to produce a softer caramel. 

 

Any help would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd try more fat because butter is soft at room temp.  Or maybe that one just need to cook to a degree or two cooler. 

 

What are you using as your espresso flavoring?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The espresso caramels recipe:

 

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup sugar

5/8 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

 

I warm the cream and add the espresso powder then cook the sugar and corn syrup to 302F. Once it has reached 302F, I add the other ingredients and cook until 248F.

 

Honey lavender with same cooking temperatures:

¾ cups sugar

1 teaspoon dried lavender

200 ml (5/6 cup) heavy whipping cream

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

3 tablespoons honey

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

½ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Goat milk and cinnamon, with heating all ingredients at once to 248F:

½ cup butter, cut into pieces

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup honey

1¼ cups goat milk

1¼ cups heavy cream

1¼ tablespoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 


Edited by chows (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m at about 700’ above sea level and I use a Thermapen that I just got two months ago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you have found, caramels are challenging! You have the best thermometer, and your altitude is low enough that you shouldn't need to make adjustments. It is hard to say exactly what the problem is, but you might try cooking the espresso batch a couple of degrees less and see if that works for you. Also, milk solids can aid in stand-up quality. Greweling has a lot of good info on the subject, and he has several formulas using different milks and cream to compare.


Edited by Chocolot (log)
  • Like 1

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would first be curious what the ingredients say on your instant espresso powder.  Any drying agents in it to prevent it from clumping?  Or anything else besides ground espresso beans?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/24/2019 at 12:03 PM, Chocolot said:

As you have found, caramels are challenging! You have the best thermometer, and your altitude is low enough that you shouldn't need to make adjustments. It is hard to say exactly what the problem is, but you might try cooking the espresso batch a couple of degrees less and see if that works for you. Also, milk solids can aid in stand-up quality. Greweling has a lot of good info on the subject, and he has several formulas using different milks and cream to compare.

 

Not just Milk Solids, but solids in general will help increase stand up quality.  You could increase your corn syrup (which to me looks low)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@chows Your definitely right in assuming that the ratio of ingredients will have an affect on the texture and chew of the caramel. But there's many many ways of making caramels, they produce different results. Like @Chocolot mentioned, check out Peter Grewelings book Chocolates and Confections, thats a very good place to start, it gives reliable formulas and a good text on the role each ingredient plays. I'd also say pick up a copy of Fine Chocolates Gold, by JP Wybauw. His caramel formulas look different from Grewelings, but they work, and may be the texture your looking for.

 

I suppose what I'm saying is that all three of your caramel recipes are different, they all will come out differently. For the coffee caramel, I think its the recipe itself that is broken, it has nothing to do with the espresso powder. Its a bit easier to find a reliable formula for plain caramels in one of the books, then you can start flavoring that base recipe anyway you want, rather then trying to troubleshoot and adjust a recipe that was found online.

 

Edit: I wanted to add, go on Amazon and purchase a used copy of the 1st edition of Chocolates and Confections, it's easily the best $20 you can spend on a solid reference for candy. 


Edited by minas6907 (log)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By sartoric
      About two weeks ago I made a jar of oranges in brandy.  I think the seal is bad and the fruit has started fermenting. There’s a few bubbles and a slightly sour smell, the taste is still sweet.
       
      The oranges were off our tree (no spray) and it’s a simple no cook recipe that calls for sugar, brandy and spices. The jar was sterilised. 

      What would you do ? Is there a way to rescue them, are they still safe to eat ?
      Any advice will be much appreciated.

    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By CharTruff
      Hello! 
       
      I am doing some spring cleaning and am selling some of my used polycarbonate molds. I've attached pictures and dimensions below.  The mold prices do not include shipping fee. I will ship these via USPS priority mail. 
       
      For estimation purposes only, 4 - 5 molds can fit in a medium box and it costs $15.05 to ship. Please let me know if you have any questions.  
       
      Thank you. 
      Charlotte W. 





    • By eglies
      Hello everyone!
       
      I hope you are all safe and well  
       
      I have a question regarding Chef Rubber Natural Colours. Its very difficult to get them here in Europe (if anyone has any contacts or knows a company that sells that would be great) and anyone that has used this line, what colours would you recommend? 
       
      Thank you!
       
    • By scott123
      Here's where I'm at with baker's percents:
       
      150% Salted Butter
      58% Trader Joe's 72% Belgian Chocolate (I don't enjoy super chocolate-y brownies)
      240% Sugar
      100% All Purpose Flour
      91% Eggs
       
      Melt butter with chocolate (I take it to 170F). Mix in everything but eggs. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and then add eggs to everything else until just incorporated.
       
      Bake at 275F for 70 minutes
       
      My goal is Two Bite Brownies.  I'm looking for an end product that's chewy and a bit dry with a homogenous texture. I don't want any fudgyness- at all, and, right now, even with 70 minutes at 275, my end product has a super fudgy crumb and a crispy exterior.  I don't want a cakey texture either. This is the territory that I'm shooting for:
       
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKDujihI6Es&app=desktop
       
      These are not exactly Two Bites, but, if you look at the beginning, you'll see that the crumb is pretty dry.  The only major difference I'm seeing between their process and mine is that they add the flour last, while I add the egg last.  They don't show the flour being mixed in, but they do show the batter being dispensed into the baking pans and it definitely looks a bit thick- not cookie dough thick, but definitely not batter-y either.
       
      The goal is a brownie with more of a cookie texture, which might mean less eggs, but, before I take that direction, I wanted to see if anyone here had some thoughts on this.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...