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Old 15-10-2003, 12:18 PM
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady
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Default Making Caramel...question about using butter or not

(Please NOTE: My correct e-mail address is in my Signature) On Tue, 14
Oct 2003 22:39:48 -0000, during the Community News
Flash (Alex Rast) reported:

at Tue, 14 Oct 2003 04:15:35 GMT in [email protected],
(shipwreck) wrote :

I tried to make a caramel by boiling sugar and water. What I got was
just boiled sugar and water. A clear solution that never turned

Then, I mixed 1/2 stick butter with the sugar with some water, and

However, in looking up other recipes calling for caramel, it's stated
to just boil sugar and water.

Thus, my question is, can you get caramel just from boiling sugar and

It depends on what you want in a caramel. If you want the soft, smooth
caramel that typically has a buttery flavour and that you cut into cubes,
then you want the type with butter added. Butter yields a richer, silkier
kind of caramel.

If, OTOH, you want the harder, chewy caramel you often use for coating
things, or that you cut into strips, then the sugar/water method is the way
to go. You need to boil it for a while, because the objective is to drive
out all the water. So you just wait while it boils (and it will boil with
great ferocity) and then starts to change colour. Take it off when it's
just a little less brown than what you want. Pour it *immediately* because
it hardens fast. Also, as soon as you've poured and spread or coated, fill
the pot with warm water or you'll have a sticky mess to remove from it.

I've seen chefs on TV do the hard one without adding any water to the
sugar at all. Perhaps that was the mistake here - adding water to the
sugar for melting stage, which will only give you a sugar syrup and
not a caramel. Adding butter or water after its liquid and brown will
change the consistency for the type of use you want.

(And add no water if you want to make spun caramel, just cool it down
a bit by putting the pan into a bigger pan with cold water for about 2

Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady)
davida at jdc dot org dot il
"What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of
--Katharine Hepburn (May 12, 1907 - June 29, 2003)
Links to my published poetry -