Caramelize Up That Life

Just this New Year’s Eve, I decided to make Cream Puffs and having white chocolate and sliced almonds as my usual topping (actually, I ran out of time buying sliced almonds since the store where I buy from is closed, holiday reasons) I thought of making (hard) caramel instead. Hehe. But hey, I enjoyed doing caramel so here I am spending time to share how it’s done.

Ever tried making your own? It’s really easy and fun to make. Oh, but can be a little bitsy difficult to handle (only because it could be real, intolerably hot ok?). Just avoid getting in contact with while it’s hot and overall, doing it is nothing but fun, fun, fun! BTW, the recipe I’m talking about here is Hard Caramel. This is different from Caramel Sauce or Fudge. I use hard caramel to dip in over my cream puffs that’s gonna give them a hard, crunchy texture  just before you get into that slightly crunchy-soft bread and creamy filling. I also use this as classy embellishments to my pastries 😉 Now, if you feel like trying to make your own, I would be delighted to share these very few and simple ingredients for you to happily concoct! 😉

  • 175 grams of Water
  • 500 grams of Refined Sugar
  • 100 grams of Glucose

It’s really easy to make but if you’re a starter and you would want to somehow be as precise as possible, I suggest you go buy yourself a candy thermometer. Yey! A cheap but reliable one would do (I use Sunbeam). Also, a kitchen mitten is a must-wear as you come to boil the mixture 😙

Okay so let’s get started. First, put water and sugar together in a saucepan. Please make sure that your pan has a sturdy handle because you don’t want your skin get burnt during the boiling process as you’d need both hands efficiently. On your stove, bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, pour over your glucose and slightly mix. Keep heat and boiling that way. You may now sink in your candy thermometer into the boiling mixture just to see and meet the right temperature. The right temperature to meet by the way is 166 degrees C / 330 degrees F. As your mixture boils, it’s best to brush down the in-sides of the pan every once in a while with water to avoid burnt sugar-liquid that’s been splattering out due to boiling. Make sure you are wearing your mitten here. Believe me, a touch of mixture on your skin is just total ouch. More on, no one wants caramel with different shades of brown, eh? Use a rubberized pastry brush if you have one. So, if it reaches that temperature or if  the mixture is golden brown or caramel in color (don’t overthink, you would know), usually it’s done, but if you’re not satisfied with the browning color then you may continue boiling just until it reaches that browning that you want. Think caramel fudge? You can go farther than 166 deg C, maybe until 175. Just don’t overboil as burnt caramel would obviously taste…burnt. So now if it gets you to that color, turn the heat off immediately. Caramel is now ready for dippin’!

Most people prefer putting the pan onto an ice bath right after removing it from the heat but me here, personally I don’t. I just find such making my caramel harden so quick that in the end, total waste especially if you are using caramel to dip in pastries. What I do is just let my caramel be after turning the heat off and just dip everything as fast as you can especially if you’re on solo mode. You would still more importantly need your mitten here. Because I’m telling ya, snap! it just hardens that quick and temperature is just intorelable. However, if in any case that happens in the middle of your happy time dipping, try bringing it back to the stove, only heat it on low-fire this time. Just add a cup of water or so and stir well with a rubber spatula or just a spoon until it looks like the first time you made it – caramel-ly. Expect a browner color though. But from there, that’s it. It would be very difficult the second time you bring it back to heat. But hey, as the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. Just my suggestion, you can still put it in an ice bath if you want to and just see for yourself. The only purpose of putting it on an ice bath is to allow it to cool and stop continuous cooking and browning but that is really not much of an issue for me.

So… Thinking of making one? Leave a comment on how it goes. I’d be happy to know!

TIP: A SIL-PAT is one I would suggest having if you want to make caramel ornaments or candies! Just pour your caramel over the SIL-PAT carefully (in whichever design you wanna have) and allow it to sit for a few seconds. It would be easily removed from it and then you’re good to top it over your cakes or pastries. Just be careful, broken hard caramel could cut skin easily. Happy caramelizing!

Pictures to follow soon! Avere una bella. Ciao.