We know it seems scary. But, with us on your side, boiling sugar won’t be that intimidating. Homemade caramel is worth overcoming that obstacle.
Everyone loves this sweet sauce, and there’s no reason not to. If you’ve ever wondered how to make caramel, this article is for you.
We’ll give you the full recipe and share some of the most essential tips to make it just right.
So wait no more, and start learning! And if you need a wholesale supplier for Sugar in Miami, Florida, contact Medina Baking & Powder.
What Is Caramel?
We’ve all seen it plenty of times to know that caramel can come in a few different varieties. In some cases, caramel is a transparent syrup used for decorations. It’s cool when it hardens and makes deserts look and taste extra special.
Then you have the glossy sauce we drizzle on top of our sundaes, milkshakes, and any other sweet treat we get to taste.
And, of course, let’s not forget about your grandma’s favorite – the chewy pieces wrapped in paper.
They are all equally impressive and made in a similar way. But to begin, the sugar needs to caramelize.
What Is Dulce de Leche?!
Dulce de leche looks and tastes kind of similar to caramel. And the preparation process isn’t that different, either. However, in this case, the ingredient list contains milk instead of water.
So, if you’re feeling extra sweet today, get a can of condensed milk and try making dulce de leche as well.
Dry and Wet Caramel – What Is the Difference?
Simply put, dry caramel is made from melting sugar only, while wet caramel contains water and salt in the recipe.
Water is there to help the sugar melt more evenly than what’s possible when it’s by itself. However, this can make the sugar prone to crystallization. And that’s not as good as it sounds.
This process happens when the sugar crystals try to reform, making a grainy mixture. And, of course, we want a silky, smooth batch of caramel. Luckily, there are ways to avoid that if you’re willing to put in the work.
Whisk the mixture occasionally until you’re sure the sugar has dissolved entirely. Then, avoid mixing, but keep an eye on everything until it reaches the golden color we seek. You can swirl the pan instead of stirring if you wish to keep the mixture moving.
If you continue to stir, the caramel will start creating sugar crystals on the side of the saucepan, which is something we wish to avoid. If it happens, a pastry brush can be helpful. Dip it in water and brush the parts of the pan that have sugar crystals.
Homemade Caramel Recipe
You can’t learn how to make caramel without the right ingredients. So first, make sure you have everything on the following list, and then proceed to the instructions.
- 60 ml water
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 tbsp butter (cubed)
- 60 ml double cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
No, the instructions aren’t too complicated. You won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen checking if everything was done according to our homemade caramel recipe.
Instead, there are a few simple steps that you can easily complete. Check them out, but make sure to peek at the special tips as well. They hide more than you think.
Find a small saucepan and set it to medium heat. In it, add sugar and cover it with prepared water.
Bring the sugar-water mix to a boil, with occasional stirring. That way, the sugar will dissolve evenly. After about 5 minutes, you can turn up the heat. Set the stove to “high” and keep cooking until the mixture becomes golden. This takes about 5 minutes with no stirring.
If you have a kitchen thermometer, you can use it for help. Once the sugar reaches 175 degrees C, it can go off the stove.
Once step 2 is completed, immediately stir in cream and butter. It’s the perfect time to be careful since the mixture will likely bubble up.
Give it a few seconds to cool, then transfer the caramel into a separate container. There, you can let it cool completely.
Homemade Caramel Recipe – Secret Tips
Learning how to make caramel correctly contains more details than you may have expected. Check out our secret tips to ensure your homemade mix always turns out perfect.
Do I Need a Sugar Thermometer?
Well, this is more of a personal preference than anything else. Yes, using a thermometer is the safest way to make caramel at home. It will give you the correct result every time, and you won’t have to worry about the right time to take the pan off the stove.
Caramel takes a minute or two to turn into toffee, so it’s important to know when to pull the trigger and finish the preparations.
That said, not many people use a thermometer when doing this. After making caramel a few times, you can easily recognize the color you’re waiting for.
So, our advice is to use all the help you can get until you’re confident enough to do everything on your own.
How To Fix Grainy Caramel?
Don’t panic; you’ll be able to fix this. We’re trying to finish with a smooth product, but even with some obstacles on the road, we’ll manage to do it.
If crystals are forming, try adding a tablespoon of water. Stir gently until they dissolve, and that’s it. If it happens again, simply repeat the process.
How to Know When the Caramel Is Ready?
Knowing when to stop making caramel is the tricky part. If you aren’t a thermometer, your best shot is to go for the eye test. The deeply golden color we want is often compared to a copper penny. So, once you see that, it’s time to turn off the stove.
How To Make Creamy Caramel?
The secret to creamy caramel is what you do to the mixture when it’s off the stove. Stir in butter and double cream to make the famous sauce we all love.
But be careful when doing this. It will make the mixture bubbly while hot.
Can I Taste the Caramel?
We know it’s tempting. But you need to resist your cravings this time.
Sugar melts at around 185 degrees C. That’s a lot hotter than boiling water, so working around it can be quite dangerous. So NO, don’t try the caramel while it’s being prepared.
Don’t put your fingers anywhere near the saucepan, and allow yourself to enjoy your creation a few minutes later.
When to Use Caramel?
The more appropriate question is – when not to use it? This creamy mixture is perfect for all types of desserts. And eating it straight from the jar isn’t a sin, either.
Trust the Medina Baking and Powder Products
If you need baking supplies, reach out to Medina Baking and Powder Products. We’ll give you a hand with everything you might require. And check out our websites for more baking recipes.