How Is Caramel Made? | Friars
Have you ever asked yourself, “How is Caramel made”? It’s an intriguing question really. We all know how good it tastes, how smooth it can be and dare we say how delicious it is when clad in some of the UK’s finest chocolate. But it doesn’t come exclusively in a fine coat of the chocolate kind. It can be in praline form, caramel apples, creme brulee amongst others, all of which are great examples of a confectionery favourite. So the answer to the question, how is Caramel made, is really quite short and, no pun intended, sweet.
Well, caramel is basically achieved by the heating of sugars and results in a versatile ‘candy’ as the Americans would say that has a wide range of forms and uses. In order to turn that sugar into caramel, it needs to be heated slowly to around 170C, (340F), pretty hot in fact you would agree. Anyway, during this caramelisation process, the sugar molecules break down and then re-form into compounds with that characteristic colour and flavour.
Caramel is magical stuff, if you look at it in original sugar form and then when it transforms the result is remarkable, and so very nice. This soft chewy toffee, used to top ice creams, as small bites in other confections and as a sauce for puddings to name a few, is as fantastic in taste as it is in versatility. The various uses for caramel are sufficient reason to know how caramel is made, and more important for some, how to make home made caramel.
As we continue in our discovery as to how caramel is made, lets discover some snippets of interest. The English word comes from the French, Caramel, We know, many of our words do, but the French borrowed it from the Spanish, Caramelo, which in turn may well have come from the Portuguese, caramelo, which in turn likely comes from the Latin, calamellus, (sugar cane).Language, like caramel is a wonderful thing.
Back to how is caramel made then, and how to make home made caramel. Apart from the commercial scale and size of equipment the process is essentially the same. Heat sugar to form a caramel. Quite often other ingredients are added to the sugar, butter or cream for example in sauce making. Caramel sauce is a popular ice cream topping as well as being widely used in a variety of other desserts.
If your preference is for the soft chewy toffee style of caramel, then you are well catered for in the confectionery world. Friars for instance have some delicious chocolates featuring creamy caramel. One of our finest selections is a mix of Soft Caramel Truffles where a gooey caramel centre is encased in smooth chocolate to give indulgent pleasure. There’s also the superb 65% dark chocolate, filled with firm rich caramel. Made even more special by virtue of being hand dipped so each chocolate is unique. Lastly the third chocolate in our popular Caramel chocolate tasting bundle is a salted caramel version.A golden caramel slightly salted and wrapped in irresistible dark chocolate.
How To Make Home Made Caramel
If you really love your caramel,
then learning how to make it for yourself has to be a worthwhile goal if not a top priority. Just imagine turning out fine gooey sticky chewy delicious caramel. Bliss. Make your own recipes with it, use it on a favourite dessert perhaps, or what about the time honoured indulgence that is named Millionaires Shortbread?
For the latter, incorporate butter and condensed milk into your sugar mix and melt in a pan. The important factors are constant stirring to prevent the mixture sticking and temperature. There’s a number of recipes out there for this treasure which is topped with a layer of chocolate to add that final flourish.
So, how to make home made caramel is a pretty simple affair really. Remember to follow the 2 to 1 (two parts sugar to one part water) ratio though. Place both ingredients into a wide, heavy based pan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Once dissolved increase the heat but make sure you don’t stir the mix during this time. What you should do is gently swirl the pan to encourage an even colouring of the caramel.
Once this even colour is achieved you can add more water, the same amount as initially added, but be careful as the hot mixture can spit. Once added make sure the caramel is properly emulsified.
At the third stage, some prefer to add double cream to give a rich creamy mixture for making a salted caramel.
Once you have mastered the simple basics, it’s great fun to experiment and bring your own influences to bear.
If on the other hand you prefer to have your work done for you and your treats ready to eat then there’s no better place to choose from than Friars. Perhaps one of our best combinations is our Cocoa Caramel Vodka Bundle. Teaming up caramel buttons with soft caramel truffles, salted caramel and two vodka liqueurs and we have given you a ‘veritable’ dream team.
So, now you know, get into the kitchen and try your hand at home made caramel, but don’t forget you can always fall back on us here for your convenience and pleasure.