A Caramel, no doubt..


Soft Chewie Caramels


I had tweeted via Foodbuzz a while ago, that I wanted to make caramels. And yeah, for the past couple of weeks its been either a 'chocolate zuchini cake' making frenzy or a caramel craze over there. I vouched for the latter. Well, I have no idea of how they incorporate a vegetable like zuchini into cake (other than carrot) but I certainly do know the taste of caramel which comes in the form of 50p toffee bites. They are so yummy!

So I began my quest for the perfect recipe first. A home-made caramel recipe fit the
bill but disaster stroke and all was lost (the condensed milk and corn syrup at least)!
They became rock-hard
Speaking of condensed milk, I found out that there were 2 ways of making caramel - No.1 being using cream instead of condensed milk. And no.2 being the obvious. I know that going the "creamy" way is the authentic, puritan cook's recipe. But if you know me, I for one, am not the kind who will gruel hours in-front of the kitchen fire to cook a bowl of caramel ( or any other food). Then I came across this site - intimate weddings which gave me the perfect recipe I was looking for (or at-least the photos there were assuring enough) and here it is.
Nasty cut for being hasty!

For starters, let me tell you that this recipe didn't click for me at the first go, neither did the 2 other recipes that I tried..just imagine the mess that corn syrup makes when you have clean up the vessels after each try! The recipe mentions that I need to bring the sugar syrup to a temperature of 244 degree F..well, for me, this temperature made my caramel rock hard.
 So much that while I was trying to cut off the caramel into pieces, by jabbing the knife into it, the knife slid off the surface of the caramel and stabbed my finger..seriously OUCH!!!!!!!!! It was one thing if it just tore my skin but this stabbed in deep! And I would even see the layer of fat underneath my skin ooze out. Ok, before I gross you or freak you out any further, let me tell you, that you should try making caramel at home atleast once. Just dont be as hasty as I was. I brought the temperature down to 236 deg.F and it was so good! Cook it to 230 deg.F and you'll get a gooey caramel sauce.

So here is the recipe I used..the original recipe is here (again):


  • 1 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 450g fine granulated sugar (tip: use powdered sugar and you can avoid any graininess in the caramel)
  • 1 can (400g) Condensed milk (I used the brand - Amul Mithai Mate. you can use any brand you like)
  • 1 cup corn syrup (I substituted it with equal quantities of glucose syrup)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1.5 tsn vanilla extract (I used essence..it gives quite a kick, so I used only 1/4th tsn)


Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with a little butter.
In a heavy bottomed pan (MUST BE heavy bottomed), Add every ingredient except vanilla in it. Mix well and continuously and bring to a gentle boil.
Clip in the candy thermometer and bring it to a temperature of 236 deg. F
Then immediately take it off the flame and add in vanilla. Mix and pour it into the greased pan. Let it cool at room temperature. It may take a couple of hours to cool. Tip: to know whether its cooled or not, gently touch the back side of the pan, if its cool, remove it. Chop up into squares and serve. Seriously-soft caramels are ready to be gobbled up!

How soft are they?
A: They were caramel balls, first. While I was prepping my cam-phone to take the photos, they flattened to these soft chewies!

How many pieces did you make?
A. Well, I used 1/4th of the recipe, as it was a trial. I am sorry..I forgot to count..I just kept eating them up.


NOTE/TIPS: 

  • Get all your ingredients on the counter before you start the process of making caramel.
  • Always take care of your face and body while cooking caramel. Never lean in while boiling the mixture. This thing gets seriously hot, as hot as oil and will burn your skin on contact.
  • You can add in flavours like cinammon (a pinch or two) in it for a sweet and spicy flavour.
  • Caramel is all about temperatures. The original recipe reads - 244 deg F but I had to boil to a lesser temperature - 236 degrees to get a softer consistency. Check and try.
  • The tip of the candy thermometer should never touch the bottom of the pan. It should only be slightly immersed in the liquid.
  • You should ALWAYS be stirring the liquid, no matter what. So don't leave it even for a single minute and go run into the hall to pick up a call.
  • Add a dash of chocolate (or cocoa powder) to get a chocolatey caramel.
  • Storage: Wrap the pieces in butter paper and store in an air-tight container.
  • Some people use parchment paper to line up their pans..I would never suggest that coz I tried that twice and it got stuck to the bottom of my caramel. It was a messy affair to remove it.
  • SUGAR: The kind of sugar you use defines the colour (and slightly, also the taste) of the caramel. If you use light brown sugar, then you will get a deep rich brown coloured caramel. Brown sugar was hard to find in this part of the country, so I used fine granulated sugar instead - which gave it a lighter colour. But it tastes just as yummy.


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10 comments:

  1. They look good and buttery..... I have made caramels once. They were super soft although so much so they were hard to eat. Only after making them I realized there is a difference between lite corn syrup and light corn syrup one should not be used for candies which is of course what I bought. lol I'll have to try again yours look so good.

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  2. My eldest daughter want to try to make it.....and she is 5 :)

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  3. @ Elena: Ha!thats great :) but it is too dangerous a recipe for a 5 yr old..you can make and give her though. have a great day.

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  4. @ S.V: thanks for the compliment. I couldnt find light corn syrup or the lighter version here..just glucose syrup which is as thick as corn syrup..it worked!

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  5. I too tend to find myself a wounded cook - burns, cuts...
    Your caramel looks perfect. Saved it for all of the holidays and birthdays upcoming.

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  6. @Five Finicky Eaters: Glad to know that I am not the only one who screams in pain in the kitchen at times..thanks for the save:)

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  7. Wow! Your caramel has turned out really well, yummy!

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