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Rescuing/trouble shooting caramel candies

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I tried making caramel candies for the first time today. Being a bit overly ambitious I made 2 batches 1 to which I added espresso powder and the other I salted. Tried layering them 1 on top of the other. The salted batch turned out like a rock, while the espresso batch is too soft and a bit grainy. I used cream, butter and a bit of corn syrup (the salted carmel recipe from chow) and cooked to 255. Two questions:

Is there any way to rescue the failed candy? Can I remelt it to some temp and then let it cool again? Or could I melt it and turn it to brittle or something else?

What is the problem with the 2 caramels? Is it just a tempurature issue? I used different pots so one may have kept cooking longer off the heat than the other...

Thanks for any help!

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    1. re: corneygirl

      I've used the same recipe on different batches and had some turn out perfect and others go in the garbage and I swear I haven't done anything differently. The weather, the humidity, the moon phase... who knows.

      I tried a new recipe last night for chai caramels that is pretty different than my other recipe... they're still setting up but I'll let you know what we think when they're done. If it's a go I'll post a link. I'm sure you could change it to any flavor you want to but the little bit I did try tasted amazing.

      1. re: weezieduzzit

        I'll keep my fingers crossed, glad to know it isn't as clear cut as I'd thought.

        1. re: corneygirl

          OK... I just tried a tiny bit, they're still a little too soft but are setting up. I think the next batch I make will be poured into a larger pan as these are about 1/2" thick and they would set up faster if thinner. I'll try a 9x13 instead of the 8x8 it calls for.

          They are freaking delicious!

          http://www.showfoodchef.com/2011/12/f...

          1. re: weezieduzzit

            Oh... I forgot to mention, I have taken a batch that is too soft and melted it into another batch and brought to temp again with good luck. And as you were thinking... if all else fails make brittle... or add more hot cream and make caramel sauce. Its not garbage until its burnt!