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Dec 16, 2009 04:25 AM

Golden Syrup for Corn Syrup: is this a valid substitution?

I love sugar, and was thinking of making this recipe as a present for people for xmas:

But I live in London where Golden Syrup is plentiful and Corn Syrup isn't. Is this a valid substitution?

Also, experienced caramel makers, in a large saucepan, how many multiples of the recipe can I make at once? I know sugar boils up high, so erring on the side of caution is how I will go. I spent basically every day after school in 7th grade making caramels or caramel like things but that was a long long time ago.

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  1. I made caramel corn last night and subbed Golden Syrup for half the corn syrup. It crystallized. :-(

    OTOH, I use this recipe for carmel sauce a lot and it's always good:
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    1/3 cup golden syrup
    Melt the brown sugar and butter in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in the cream and syrup and bring to a boil, taking care that the mixture does not boil over. Cook uncovered, whisking often, until the sauce is glossy, smooth, and reduced by about one-third, about 8 minutes.

    1. Corn syrup is less prone to crystallization than cane or beet sugar syrup, so its use in a variety of confections is designed with that in mind. I would think that if you used golden syrup, your risk of crystallization will increase.

      1. I've subbed golden syrup for light corn syrup in a number of recipes because I prefer the flavor, and I've never had a problem. Well, I did have a batch of marshmallows refuse to firm up, but I am pretty sure that was due to high humidity that day.

        I've never made a caramel sauce with it, but I have made lots of caramels - so my guess is that it is at least worth a try.

        1. Relizabeth, as has been mentioned, golden syrup doesn't inhibit crystallization as well as corn syrup.

          That being said, I think if you increase the ratio of syrup to sugar, you should be able to compensate. If you really want to play it safe, crystallization wise, I'd go 1:1. Golden syrup is 25% sweeter than sugar (and probably at least double the sweetness of corn syrup), so as you use more, it's going to get sweeter. As you brown sugar, the sweetness drops, though, so you should be able to compensate with a slightly darker tone. Not too dark, though, or you'll start to get burnt notes. 2:1 sugar to golden would put this at a greater risk of crystallization than 1:1, but... it might be safer from a perspective of sweetness. Some crystallization isn't the end of the world for a caramel sauce, btw, especially with the directions to heat before using. I get the feeling that even using corn syrup, this sauce might crystallize a bit over time.

          For someone of Keller's stature, this recipe leaves a lot to be desired. Any caramel recipe worth it's salt should have a photo of how dark to take the cooked sugar syrup to (or a color swatch). 'Rich amber' is just way too vague. And 'warmed' cream is a bit vague as well. How warm? For the most depth of flavor in a caramel, both the sugar should be browned as well as the milk proteins in the cream. Quite a few recipes do one or the other, but not both. I guess, in theory, if the cream were hot enough when it goes into the blazingly hot amber syrup, the median temp might be hot enough to brown it a bit, but I'd much rather see a separate cream browning stage (with addition of water at the end to bring it to the proper consistency).

          1 Reply
          1. re: scott123

            Going to show that Keller may be a fantastic chef, but his editor did not do the work to translate his recipe into a proper cookbook form. Too many great chefs have weak or bad editors.