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Making Caramel with Muscovado Sugar?

Airo Dec 27, 2011 08:32 PM

I really -love- muscovado sugar and am intrigued with the idea of making caramel from it.

Anyone ever successfully made caramel with muscovado sugar? Does it caramelize well and does anything need to be done differently in the caramelizing procedure?

To make a caramel sauce, I usually take white sugar and heat it up in a thick-bottomed sauce pan until it completely melts and then I add in the butter. Once that completely melts, I take it off the heat, wait for a few seconds and then slowly add in the cream (and any extracts) and stir it in. It foams up initially but then it turns into a nice, thick, gooey, smooth, delicious, and velvety caramel sauce, especially as it cools down.

Could I do the same process with muscovado? Plus, it's so dark and "molassy" in smell, I'd be nervous of whether or not I am burning it without realizing it.

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  1. babette feasts RE: Airo Dec 27, 2011 09:18 PM

    I think all the molasses and impurities would burn too, which may not be pleasant. But, one way to find out! Since the color is already dark, it may be better to go by temperature to know when you've reached caramelization. IIRC, a light caramel is around 325F, dark around 350F.

    2 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts
      Airo RE: babette feasts Dec 29, 2011 03:18 AM

      I just got new stock of muscovado sugar (India Tree brand), so I am going to experiment with making a caramel from this sugar this week, and see how it turns out.

      If it comes out right, maybe I'll make some caramel tartlets...

      Thanks for the tip on temperature settings. That might help, for sure. :)

      1. re: Airo
        bushwickgirl RE: Airo Dec 29, 2011 04:12 AM

        I have some concerns abut caramelizing muscovado. The molasses content will burn and I don't think you'll get a edible product.

        Give this a try: caramelize regular white granulated or superfine sugar as you would do normally. While that's working, heat your cream and butter with a measure of muscovado, to taste, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream/butter/muscovado mixture to your caramelized sugar. You'll have the lovely rich muscovado flavor without the burn.

        Btw, caramelized sugar temps are anywhere from 320° to 360°, depending on the color and flavor you want in it. 340° is about optimum temp for light brown caramel sauces. I don't necessarily use a thermometer for caramel, just my watchful eye.

    2. bushwickgirl RE: Airo Jan 5, 2012 03:35 PM

      Just bumping and hoping the OP will reply. I'm interested to know how/if it all worked out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bushwickgirl
        Airo RE: bushwickgirl Jan 7, 2012 05:16 AM

        It actually came out very well and QUITE distinctive. Firmed up nicely for my dark caramel tartlets when it was placed in the fridge to cool down and chill.

        Here's a photo of it after taking it off the stove. I should have taken photos of my tarts, too. I will be making them again next week, so I'll have new photos to show.

        Dark muscovado caramel (vegan):


        I used coconut milk and Earth Balance to substitute for heavy cream and butter, respectively.

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