10 common mistakes to avoid when making caramel

      11

We all love sugar, especially when it"s in the size of a caramel or a butterscotch-type "quick caramel" sauce. Caramel drizzled over cakes is the best, và ice cream too, or baked apples. You can even layer caramel into cakes. Unfortunately, sugar can be a real pain to lớn work with.

Bạn đang xem: 10 common mistakes to avoid when making caramel

*
*
*

Invert sugars such as honey, corn syrup, và glucose

The other type of sugar you need to lớn be aware of is "invert sugar", such as corn syrup. Invert sugars are made when larger sugars, lượt thích sucrose, are broken down to their basic building blocks, glucose and fructose. What most people don"t realize is that corn syrup actually comes from corn starch. Starch is the storage khung of glucose in plants, và it"s a long chain of glucose molecules bonded together. If you treat starch with either an enzyme (amylase) or an acid & a little heat, the starch chains break down into their building blocks: you obtain lots of glucose. Corn syrup that is readily available at grocery stores is a glucose syrup. Some corn syrups contain maltose (coming from the break-down of glucose-containing amylose starches). Honey is also an invert sugar: bees drink flower nectar containing sucrose, và they secrete an enzyme (invertase) that breaks down the sucrose (digestive acids also help this process) to khung glucose and fructose. In honey, glucose and fructose are present in equal parts. You"ll notice honey in these florentine cookies. Not only does it địa chỉ flavour, it also ensures the sugar doesn"t crystallize, leading to a gritty texture!

*
*

How do you stop caramel from crystallizing?

There are 2 important methods to ensure your caramel sauce doesn"t crystallize when you don"t want it to:

Add an acid: If you are out of corn syrup và don"t have honey on hand, you have a second option: địa chỉ a squeeze of lemon juice. Lemon juice is acidic và therefore if you phối a little lemon juice with sucrose, & you heat the mixture, some of the sucrose will break down lớn its building blocks, i.e. Glucose & fructose. By adding a little lemon juice to lớn your sugar sauces and caramels, you are basically making a little invert sugar in your saucepan so that the sucrose, và your caramel, won"t crystallize.
*

There are also 2 additional points khổng lồ consider to lớn avoid crystallization of caramel sauces:

Make sure the sugar is dissolved properly before you increase the heat: when making salted caramels và caramel sauce recipes that involve caramelizing granulated sugar before adding cream & butter, I find it"s very important to showroom a little water to your saucepan khổng lồ help dissolve all the sugar crystals on low heat before heating the mixture at a higher temperature khổng lồ caramelize the sugars. I find starting with water helps prevent a lot of problems later on.

Xem thêm: Roasted Chicken Broth Recipe, Chicken Stock On The Grill Recipe

Change the order of ingredients:for caramel sauce recipes, I make sure lớn put the liquid in the saucepan first. Then I showroom the sugar on vị trí cao nhất of the liquid. I find by respecting this order, the sugar dissolves more easily and more evenly at low heat, with minimal stirring.
*
*
*

Crystallization is a science

I find it ironic because as a chemist, I spent a lot of time trying lớn force my products lớn crystallize, và yet in the kitchen, we usually strive for the opposite in a perfectly smooth caramel sauce. Luckily, we have a few tricks to choose from so that we never have to lớn face a batch of caramel turned lớn a solid mass of gritty sugar.

In some recipes, crystallization is a good thing!

When you are following amaple fudge recipe or making a batch of homemade maple butter, you actually want sugar crystallization khổng lồ occur. These recipes use temperature khổng lồ control crystallization and to make sure you form fine sugar crystals. The size of the sugar crystals can"t be too large or you will over up with gritty fudge or hard maple candy.