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Old 17-10-2003, 02:46 AM
Chef Riggy
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Default Making Caramel...question about using butter or not

Isn't 145C a little cool for caramel? I mean, that's like soft crack.
Caramel is hotter than hard crack, and ranges from 160C for light caramel
to about 190C for dark caramel. (well over 300F).

The book is out in the car, and my happy butt is sitting here after a
10-hour shift, so I will refer you to your copy of Cookwise by Shirley
Corriher, pp.422-25 for the physics, and a candy thermometer for the temps.
(I just made 2 batches of caramel less than 3 hours ago using one, so I am
positive of the temps in C). "Caramel" starts at 160C.

Butter caramel, you can or not, it's up to you. Corriher says butter caramel
is harder to make. Maybe there's something there I haven't learned yet, but
I've not had trouble with mine (probably just ignorant of any trickiness so
luck just plays out).

When you start with the wet method--sugar and water--it is easier to control
the rate at which the sugar heats up. Light caramel will be more brittle
when cooled than will dark caramel, and the dark caramel will absorb more
moisture from the air due to the greater quantities of fructose. Anyway,
before the sugars start to caramelize, the water will all boil off leaving
you with only melted sucrose.

I do a type of butter caramel--toffee--by putting heavy cream, sweet butter,
and sugar in a pot and cooking it to color all together. The whey from the
butter and cream all evaporate before it's done, and it comes out like the
center of a Heath bar. I break it up into bits with a mezzaluna then fold it
into coffee ice-cream. Yum! (For the ice-cream, I steep decaf grounds in
with the cream in the first step, add cocoa before liaison and finish

Anyway, for a chewy caramel, cook the sugar (using that $15 candy
thermometer) to the desired darkness (the darker, the softer, so go
lighter), and then add some heavy cream off the fire a little at a time,
letting the whey steam off. And be careful of splatters! It will spit and
sputter and hiss for awhile, and even double in volume--this is normal. Put
a drop onto a small something and stick it in the fridge to cool. Once cool,
taste it for texture. If it wants to pull fillings out, add a little more
cream. Too much cream and you have a caramel sauce.

Have fun, I am bushed.

"Hartmut W. Kuntze" wrote in message
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

Thanks, Gary

Of course Gary. It just has to boil all the water away and reach

145 o C = 293 o F = 115 o R


C=-) H. W. Hans Kuntze, CMC, S.g.K. (_o_) ,
"Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it Happened"
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