Hi....help! I have been successfully making caramel sauce for over a year with no issues but suddenly now every time I make it, it curdles and becomes lumpy, for lack of a better word.
It tastes fine but the texture is awful.
Anyone have any ideas why this would just start without me having changed one thing about the way I make it?
Not exactly "caramel sauce" but I make homemade dulche de leche... IN the UNOPENED can. Can of sweetened, condensed milk (sans label) in pot big enough to cover with water. Bring to simmer and turn down really low for at least 2 hours... making sure you add more water if it gets low. At 2 hours it's pourable and lightly tan. The longer it cooks, the darker and stiffer it gets. Let can cool COMPLETELY before opening... unless ya wanna get seriously burned! Have had it last a LONG time (months) in fridge. One time got a little grainy, but came back after a whle in simmering water.... I store it in a mason jar. Tried it with NON-FAT and frankly couldn't tell the difference.
Hi Kseiverd...thank you for your response. I do know how to make dulce de leche but it's my caramel sauce I am having issues with. I also know how to make it and have been making it for my business for the past year with no issues. This curdling thing is new and I can't figure out what is happening or why. Have not changed one thing about how I make it. It's very irritating and I do not want to serve lumpy caramel to my customers!
Thanks for your response!
If it's more curdled like cottage cheese I would think it's the cream. Are you using a different brand or a lower fat cream?
If it's more gritty, I'd look at the sugar. Do you use cane sugar? I know some people swear beet sugar doesn't caramelize as well. Humidity is always a suspect when sugar is involved, any changes there?
I use equal parts by weight cane sugar and heavy (40% fat) cream - caramelize the sugar wet, add warmed cream and a little salt and vanilla. It always comes out great for me. Try it and see if you still have issues.
My guess is that it is the increasing humidity with which you have to deal in summer. So, have you made it in the summer before? If so, maybe I am wrong, but sugar is notoriously hydroscopic and the additional moisture can throw off a recipe.
The other thing that I would look at is the age of the sweetened, condensed milk that you are using. Something happens to that stuff in the can when it gets old.