Cooking Basics

How do you make caramel?

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Caramel candies
Why buy caramel when homemade is so delicious?
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Know how do you make caramel for a very simple, delicious homemade treat

Wondering how do you make caramel, and is it something you can do at home?

It's easier than you might imagine, especially with our step-by-step instructions.

Whether you want to make old-fashioned caramel candies, luscious chocolate-dipped caramels, or need to make a caramel sauce, you can master the art of caramel making in no time at all.

Let's start with a basic caramel candy that can stand alone, or form the sweet center of a chocolate dipped confection.


Caramel candy

Ingredients:
  • 2 c heavy cream (do not substitute anything else!)
  • 1/2 c sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 c light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) salted butter, softened slightly and cut into small cubes
  • Cooking spray

Supplies:

Directions:

  • Line the baking pan with foil, then spray it generously with cooking spray.
  • In a small pot, combine the cream and condensed milk/  Heat over low just until warm.  DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL!  Cover and set aside in a warm spot.
  • Combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar in a second pot.  Heat on medium high, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.  over medium-high heat.
  • Wipe down the inside of the pot with the wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming on the sides (This is critical to making your caramel smooth.)
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • Using candy thermometer to check the temperature, bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the temperature is 250 degrees.
  • Add the butter and the milk mixture. Check the temperature again.  It should be around 220 degrees.

  • Cook the mixture, stirring constantly. Make sure the candy does not scorch.
  • Continue to cook until the temperature reads 244 exactly. The caramel should now be a beautiful deep golden color.
  • Remove the caramel from the stove and immediately pour it into the foil-lined pan, without scrapping the pot
  • Allow the candy to sit at room temperature overnight to firm.  Do not refrigerate or chill.
  • Cut into 1" pieces by lifting the whole candy from the pan using the foil, placing a sheet of waxed paper on top and flipping the whole square at once. Cut into squares with a sharp, greased knife (you can use cooking spray on the knife.)
  • Wrap the squares in waxed paper, dip them in chocolate or place them in candy cups immediately after cutting. 
  • Store at room temperature.

Caramel Sauce

If you're wondering how do you make caramel sauce instead of candy, here's a simple recipe that will yield a rich, creamy sauce just perfect for topping ice cream or desserts.

A word of caution before you begin.  Measure out your ingredients before you start cooking.  There's no time to measure once you start...when it comes to making caramel sauce, seconds count!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (do not substitute...lower fat creams or mixes will not work)

Tools:

  • Heavy-bottomed sauce pan, medium or large
  • Glass canning jar (8 oz or larger, or several smaller ones)
  • Large whisk

Directions:

  • Pour sugar into heavy-bottomed saucepan. Do not preheat the pan.
  • Heat over medium high heat, stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon until melted sugar begins to boil.
  • If sugar begins to scorch before all is melted, add 1/2 cup room temperature water to the pot and stir in.  When the water evaporates, and the sugar begins to boil (mixture will be rich golden brown), move to next step. 
  • Add butter to the pan, and whisk until all the butter has melted and is incorporated (you should not see streaks of butter)
  • Remove pan from heat, count to 5, and then slowly whisk in cream, pouring in a slow steady stream. Mixture will foam up.
  • Continue to whisk until mixture is completely smooth
  • Pour hot caramel sauce into clean canning jars. Cap and allow to cool on the counter. (Remember the glass will be very hot!)
  • Store cooled jar(s) in fridge for up to 14 days, warming to use

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