I have met dozens of people who refrain from making caramel at home . Its either they have had too many burnt sugars, or they have simply given up making something so simple ; for lack of proper instructions.
Touchwood, I haven’t been one of those. I got making caramel right at the first attempt, that would be almost a year back. My non-blogging days. Infact making caramel at home isn’t scary. Doesn’t require a candy thermometer. And is one simple process.
You need to be alert, since caramel is made under 10 minutes. Moreover,this tastes so much better than store bought!
Just keep all the ingredients at hand, at room temperature since this is a fast process and your all set to make caramel.
Watching granulated sugar melt and transform into something so beautiful is the work of chemistry. You don’t need to fret anymore, this recipe is the one! After hunting for days for the perfect recipe, since most Mumbai stores don’t stock on caramel, and the gourmet stores that have them, cost a bomb…I found this recipe..Its simply put, perfect..and yields magnificent results..
If you don’t get it right in the first instance (which seems highly improbable) start over. Its just one cup of sugar that’s lost.
If you feel a little apprehensive , pour in a little water with the sugar. Although it will be a slower process, as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar starts to caremalize. I’m posting step-by-step pictures at every stage of the melting process, to give you a better idea of how this should look.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp butter
A tad of vanilla extract (Optional)
Take a heavy bottomed pan with high sides ( trust me, you’ll need it) and pour in the sugar.
On the lowest possible setting, let the sugar melt. In picture number 1, the granulated sugar.
As soon as the sugar starts to melt, start mixing it with a whisk or wooden spoon.
Pictures 2,3,4 the various stages of sugar after around 3-4 minutes. Very initial.
Pictures 5,6,7,8 when the sugar is almost melted, and beginning to get a certain amberish hue..
As soon as the sugar completely melts (Picture No 8) , stop mixing. A few sugar granules is acceptable.
Occasionally tilt the pan, for even heating .
When it is completely melted and reaches a deep amber color (Picture No 9), add in the butter and allow it to melt.( Pic No 10)
Immediately take it off the heat.
Wait for around 5-6 seconds and pour in the heavy cream. (pic number 11)
As soon as you pour it, the mixture will start to bubble and foam up considerably. That’s the reason why you need the pan with high sides!
Mix evenly, until the cream has completely melted, and there are no streaks of white anymore . Add in the vanilla.
Do Not under any condition touch this mixture at any time during the procedure. The solution has double the temperature of boiling water. Hot enough to burn you very badly. This happened to me, and it took almost a month for my index finger to heal .
Let the mixture cool, and transfer to a bottle.
To use, reheat it in the microwave for around 10 seconds, since the caramel thickens once its cold.
Store in the refrigerator for upto two weeks.