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Mar 20, 2010 12:10 PM

Caramel Recipe Question

I'm looking for a caramel recipe. Preferably a caramel that is creamy and flows a bit, and is not too firm, but at the same time not too liquidy either. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks.

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  1. I think it really depends on what you'll be using it for. The standard brown sugar caramel recipes for caramel corn and apples flow well if you take them off the heat sooner and i've used them in brownies, as toppings etc. If you let it get a little further along to the soft ball stage it's good for truffles and various fillings. If i'm making a flan or a custard though I just stick to a basic granulated sugar recipe and add a tablespoon of corn syrup.

    13 Replies
    1. re: ghostpeppergirl

      "real" caramel is sugar heated till melted and amber colored, then usually heavy cream added, but yes we need to know more about what you will be using it for to know what kind of recipe you need.

      1. re: Liz K

        I'm hoping to make chocolates with a caramel filling

        1. re: luvbaking

          So it seems like you want to make actual caramels, then dip in chocolate? Or are you coating molds with chocolate and adding a softer caramel filling?
          Sorry for all the questions. The recipe depends on what you're doing with the caramel. It's about the cooking temp of the sugar solution and to what stage you take that solution that will give you the result you want..

          Here's a very good basic recipe with a luscious richness from the cream and honey for firm caramels to be dipped in chocolate:

          1 1/3 cups heavy cream
          2 cups sugar
          1/2 cup light corn syrup
          1/3 cup honey
          6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
          1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
          2 teaspoons fleur de sel or sea salt

          In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Add the sugar, corn syrup and honey and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 257 degrees (hard ball)on a candy thermometer, 15 to 30 minutes.
          Remove the pan from the heat and, with oven mitts on, stir in the butter, vanilla and 2 teaspoons salt. Pour into a prepared pan and let cool. Chill, cut and dip as desired.

          For more of a flow and creaminess, cook the sugar, cream and honey to 240 degrees (soft ball) then finish with the other ingredients.

          Here's a link for more caramel making info:

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Sorry its taken a while to reply. I will be coating a mold with chocolate then using a softer caramel filling. Hopefully I will have a chance to make it this weekend. I'll definately try the recipe and let you know how it goes. Thanks.

            1. re: luvbaking

              Oooohh in that case I would do the sweetened condensed milk one. It's my fav though not really a true caramel. Put a can of it in a glass pie plate, cover plate with foil and place in a water bath. Bake 350 1 1/2 hrs (add water if needed to keep it 1/2 way up the pie plate). I like this better than the sugar, butter and cream caramels.

              I did make one once with a can of coconut milk instead of cream though and it was excellent. Let me know if you want me to find it.

              1. re: luvbaking

                Ok, looking forward to your reply.

                Do the water test with the cooked caramel as well as the thermometer temp, so you can see if the caramel is at the place that you like. Maybe start checking it at 235*. Did you read the link I posted? If the caramel gets too thick while you're pouring, reheat briefly in the MV.

              2. re: bushwickgirl

                We seem to be having the caramel discussions this month - but what could be nicer? Do you individually wrap yours? And if so, in what?

                I like the sound of your recipe; the honey and corn syrup would give it multiple notes (or golden syrup instead of the corn syrup would be lovely too). And the vanilla paste would give it a little extra something. The fleur de sel is a given in my caramel world!

                1. re: cinnamon girl

                  I make wrapped caramels to give for Christmas gifts each year. I endured cutting and wrapping in waxed paper for years. Then one year I was in a cake decorating store and found a package of 4" square cellophane squares - they make perfect wraps for caramels that are about 1" square. And quite inexpensive. The pacakage has lasted me for years now.

                  1. re: cinnamon girl

                    Yes, there's been a few caramel queries posted, all pleasant discussions.

                    Golden syrup would be a nice change from corn syrup, too but I can't find it so readily in NYC.

                    I used to use waxed paper with lots of cutting, then I worked in a deli some years ago and discovered 6" x 10" deli tissue wraps, great for caramels. These are the papers used in delis or bakeries for picking up pastries and other food items to prevent contamination. I cut them in half. Restaurant supply places carry them, or maybe your friendly deli owner will sell you a box. The brand I currently have is made by Marcal, the toilet tissue company. The boxes contain 1000 sheets and lasts for quite awhile. They are dry waxed paper, slightly permeable and are grease resistant.

                    Don't confuse the tissue with patty papers, which are also used in butcher shops and delis; these are small but heavy weight and difficult to use as a wrap.

                    The cellophane wraps housewolf is referring to are a natural product from cellulose, bio-degradable and can also be found in paper supply stores, usually in rolls, and comes in a variety of colors, nice for gifting. I haven't seen it in 4" squares, though.

                    So check with your local cake decorating/craft stores or restaurant supply houses.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      I think I've seen Golden Syrup at Fairway in the British Foods section. I wonder how Agave would behave?

                      PS: My favorite caramel based treat is sponge candy. The caramel gets taken pretty far into the almost burnt area, so it gains some savory complexity and loses some sweetness, but because of the foaming, it's not hard as a rock.

                      1. re: sbp

                        We have a Fairway in BK but it's quite a distance from me, unfortunately. I would be willing to try the Agave at some point.

                        I believe the sponge candy you're talking about is called honeycomb; often dipped in dark chocolate, it's good stuff.

                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          Yes, where I'm from (Buffalo), it's sponge candy. I think in the South it's called seafoam and in England honeycomb. All pretty much the same recipe, although a Cadbury Crunchy has much smaller bubbles than Buffalo sponge candy.

                          1. re: sbp

                            Ok, just wanted to make sure we were taking about the same thing; I was aware that the candy has different regional names but didn't know about the sponge candy designation up there. I don't know much about Buffalo; the Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing claim to fame, of course, the Jackson-Perkins Rose Gardens and the record snowfalls. Last time I was there was, well... it was a long time ago. ;-D

                            I believe there were some earlier threads here about making honeycomb/sponge candy. I'm going to do a little search to see what was posted. Now I wish I had the energy to make some. It was very hot here today and I'm zapped.

                            EDIT: I just remember I don't have any corn that's out for tonight.

          2. I actually had success carmalizing packets of splenda. I was pretty sad when the granulated splenda didn't work. :( I emailed the co to see what the deal was lol. Anyone have any idea? I'm sick of looking.