Help? Caramel Filling Is All Messed Up...

Baking By imartsy Updated 20 Mar 2010 , 3:49am by imartsy

imartsy Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 1:09am
post #1 of 20

I made a caramel filling and put it in the fridge like the post said to... I followed the recipe below from Southern Living.

I tried to get the caramel out of the fridge today and it was rock hard. I tried to heat it up a little in hopes that it would be spreadable, but now it has all these hard chunks of sugar in it.... totally unusable.

Can anyone recommend another recipe? Or tell me what I've done wrong? All I did was cut the recipe in half..

Yield: Makes about 3 cups
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup whipping cream
Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and corn syrup, and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture turns a deep caramel color. Gradually add cream, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat, and let cool. Chill 2 hours or until thickened and spreading consistency.

Note: Caramel Filling may be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until spreading consistency.

19 replies
JodieF Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 1:18am
post #2 of 20

This is the recipe I've used for years:

You have to be careful not to get past the soft ball stage. At the hard ball stage the caramel will be "pull your fillings out" super thick and chewy!

I would guess that cooking yours too long must have been your issue also. I'm sorry you had so much trouble!


imartsy Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 1:24am
post #3 of 20

Wow that sounds good - but requires a lot more ingredients than i have on hand. I was hoping to ask my husband just to pick up some heavy whipping cream on the way home.... sigh. This cake may have to wait another day.

Hopefully my ganache is still ok. I reheated it a bit but now it has cooled. Hopefully I can reheat it again. : (

Loucinda Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 1:41am
post #4 of 20

You can't get any easier than a can of sweetened condensed milk, pour into a heavy saucepan, cook over med. heat, stir constantly till the consistency/color you want. Perfect caramel filling every time, and easy peasy. icon_smile.gif

Peridot Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 1:48am
post #5 of 20

With much hesitation I tried JodieF's caramel recipe two weeks ago for my grandson's birthday cake. Just let me say THIS WAS THE BEST CARAMEL FILLING I HAVE EVER TASTED!

It is excellent and everyone loved, loved, loved it (the cake was chocolate). DH and I had to keep our fingers out of the bowl while it was cooling it was so darn good. We used the left overs on ice cream.

I stored the filling in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it and then I heated it in the microwave until it was a useable consistency. I was so worried that it would not set up thick enough when cold - no fear - when I took it out of the frig I could hold the bowl upside down and nothing came out.

If you are looking for a fantastic filling be sure and try Jodie's. Thanks again Jodie for sharing such a great recipe!

ceshell Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 5:37am
post #6 of 20

I'll second that - I love the recipe JodieF's posted. And also do heed her advice about the cooking time. The first time I made it, I did not get it out of the pan once it reached the correct temp - so I think it continued to cook in the pan off the stove. It was so hard even at room temp, it was completely unusable except when microwaved.

But ya know what to do with caramel that is too hard to use except when microwaved? Melt it just enough to soften (but don't let it get hot) and then add to freshly made (i.e. not yet cooled) ganache. Voilà - caramel ganache. Stays softer due to the addition of ganache and is soooooooooooooooooooo good.

PinkZiab Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 2:26pm
post #7 of 20
Originally Posted by Loucinda

You can't get any easier than a can of sweetened condensed milk, pour into a heavy saucepan, cook over med. heat, stir constantly till the consistency/color you want. Perfect caramel filling every time, and easy peasy. icon_smile.gif

While this is VERY tasty, if I ordered a cake with caramel filling and someone gave me a cake filled with dulce de leche (which is what you describe) I would demand a refund, because it's not what I ordered. Dulce de leche is delicious, but it's not caramel, and I just can't see using the two interchangeably.

Peridot Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 6:02pm
post #8 of 20


Wow, that is interesting. It took like forever to get it to the softball stage and when it got there I cooked a minute or two longer and then took it off of the heat and stirred it several times and let it sit in the pan until it cooled (which took forever) and stirred it occasionally to speed up the cooling process as this stuff is so hot it's dangerous if you touch it. Then I poured it into a container that I could refrigerate and microwave and put it in the fridge. It still took several hours before it was set and you could still stick a spoon into it and take out a nice scoop if you wanted and it was very, very thick.

The next day it was set very firm, you would really have to dig very hard to get a spoon full out and you could probably bend your spoon doing so, but it was not "rock" hard. And yes, it would have been un-useable until it was microwaived.

Now I will be more cautious if I make it again.

JodieF Posted 17 Mar 2010 , 12:57am
post #9 of 20

I think when you're making any kind of candy you also need to be sure your thermometer is accurate too. The easiest thing to do is boil water and then insert your thermometer. It should read 212 degrees. Ten degrees off will make a huge difference on how a caramel will turn out.

I had a "duh" moment not very long ago, when I ended up with gritty SMBC. I had used an instant read thermometer and it turned out it was 20 degrees off! I didn't know you could even calibrate them!

I'm glad so many of you like that recipe. I wish I could even remember where I found it. It's SO good for dipping apples into too!


imartsy Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 10:03pm
post #10 of 20

Wow somehow I haven't been getting updates. It is fantastic but what do I do with all the leftovers? I can't keep eating it by the there something else I can do? A way to make it into candy or something?

JodieF Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 10:28pm
post #11 of 20

icon_biggrin.gif leftovers never survive very long at my house, but I just did a search and you can freeze caramel. They're talking about caramel that was cooked a bit longer and made into candies, but there wouldn't be any difference I wouldn't think!


ceshell Posted 18 Mar 2010 , 10:58pm
post #12 of 20

The last time I made it I had a lot leftover. I portioned it out into single-sized blobs on a piece of plastic wrap, wrapped tightly, and put it in the freezer. Now if I want some yummy caramel I can take it out, unwrap a single blob, and not have to fuss with defrosting the whole brick of caramel! thumbs_up.gif

JodieF Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:04am
post #13 of 20

I could use a yummy blob of caramel right about now!



imartsy Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:17am
post #14 of 20

love the plastic wrap idea...I was trying to figure out a way to bring it to work and get it out of my house....not sure I can get people excited about plastic wrap caramels....I'm not sure how appealing I can make that look...

JodieF Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:31am
post #15 of 20

How about taking the caramel itself, and bringing apples to slice, marshmallows, graham crackers, angel food cake, etc.....a tray of dipping stuff?


ceshell Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:55am
post #16 of 20

Oh yeah - the plastic wrap is just for storage, i.e. to keep it IN your house! I was actually going to use a chocolate mold, pour in some chocolate, melt the caramel to soft/piping consistency, and pipe into choc molds and cover with more chocolate...but that sounded like too much work. Plus I hate candy melts and I didn't want to temper real chocolate.

Or simply roll the softened caramel into tsp-sized balls -- and dip into chocolate to make caramel chocolates out of them and give them away. Again if you don't temper the chocolate it may not be as hard as you'd like but then again...who cares?! I use semisweet for choc. covered strawberries and the chocolate is nice.

Oh oh oh! I know! Here's one I DID do once. I scooped up a healthy portion onto a plastic spoon, patted it down a bit to a nice shape, sprinkled with sea salt, and then wrapped in a little plastic wrap square (nicely!) and tied with a ribbon. A single-serving spoonful of caramel. It was cute and my friends enjoyed eating it off the spoon as nature intended. The sea salt is AMAZING with this stuff.

I might have tried one of the above-referenced ideas last time...but I wanted to keep it icon_biggrin.gif.

Peridot Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 1:33am
post #17 of 20

STOP! STOP! STOP with the ideas I can't take it any more. I am going to have to make this stuff again just for leftovers.

Fantastic ideas Ceshell....I am so hungry right now guess I will have to settle for a Weight Watchers Fudge Bar....not quite the same.

JodieF Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 1:53am
post #18 of 20

Ceshell......I had totally forgotten about your idea for the spoonful with sea salt! I'm gonna have to do that! It sounds SO good!

ceshell Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 4:47am
post #19 of 20

Betcha can't eat just one! icon_biggrin.gif

imartsy Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 3:49am
post #20 of 20

Ok the way NOT to do it - roll the caramel up into little balls, put in cupcake wrappers, drive to work.... the caramel flattened out in the little papers and got stuck... still tasted wonderful and people did eat it - but you had to basically tear it off the paper with your teeth.... LOL.

Next time I'll try to be more prepared and try to dip it in chocolate or something... or maybe if you cook it longer it gets to a little less of a "melty" stage? It was perfect for the cake... just thinking about the future.

Oh and someone reminded me today of modjeskas - caramel covered marshmallows.... I've never made homemade marshmallows, but modjeskas are on my list next!

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