Caramel:to Make Or To Buy?

Decorating By robbynjaye Updated 15 Apr 2011 , 6:54am by scp1127

robbynjaye Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 4:55pm
post #1 of 24

Hi CC friends!

I'm wondering if there are any bakers out there who buy caramel to fill and top cakes and cupcakes. If so, what is the best, most tastiest brand?
I don't want my caramel fillings to taste too fake.

If you make it from scratch, how difficult is it to make and store on a large scale?

Any help, tips and suggestions appreciated!

23 replies
lilqtangie Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:07pm
post #2 of 24

I personally don't like the store brands, I love homemade ( I love the taste of the butter, its really easy to make and you just store it in the frig and it last weeks.

Here's a simple recipe

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/caramel_sauce/

shaibaer Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:47pm
post #3 of 24

I don't know if this would be too soft, but we make a caramel or "de leche" sauce in the crockpot and it is super super EASY!!

Now... follow me on this one, ok?

Ingredients:
can of Sweetened Condensed milk

No... the hard part icon_wink.gif

Step 1: Line the bottom of your crock pot with a folded up piece of parchment paper larger than the size of your can (VERY IMPORTANT STEP!!! Keeps you from having to scrub rust stains later!!)

Step 2: Take the can of sweetened condensed milk, remove the label, and put into in your crock pot on top of the parchment paper.

Step 3: Completely cover the can(s) with water. (edited to say that you need to keep the cans covered in water at ALL TIMES.... at least 2inches or more over the height of the can)

Step 4: Set to low and wait eight hours.

Step 5: Take the can out of the crockpot and set on a rack to cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature open the cans. (If you open the can early, It has a tendency to splatter and you don't want to get burned) OR leave the cans unopened for up to a month (so you can make a few cans at a time and keep them until needed)

That's it!! and this stuff is soooooooooo good!! I love it on strawberries, pretzels, canteloupe, ice cream and in cake! Hell, who am I kidding? I eat it with a spoon!

robbynjaye Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:51pm
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaibaer

I don't know if this would be too soft, but we make a caramel or "de leche" sauce in the crockpot and it is super super EASY!!

Now... follow me on this one, ok?

Ingredients:
can of Sweetened Condensed milk

No... the hard part icon_wink.gif

Step 1: Line the bottom of your crock pot with a folded up piece of parchment paper larger than the size of your can (VERY IMPORTANT STEP!!! Keeps you from having to scrub rust stains later!!)

Step 2: Take the can of sweetened condensed milk, remove the label, and put into in your crock pot on top of the parchment paper.

Step 3: Completely cover the can(s) with water. (at least an inch or 2 over the height of the can)

Step 4: Set to low and wait eight hours.

Step 5: Take the can out of the crockpot and set on a rack to cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature open the cans. (If you open the can early, It has a tendency to splatter and you don't want to get burned) OR leave the cans unopened for up to a month (so you can make a few cans at a time and keep them until needed)

That's it!! and this stuff is soooooooooo good!! I love it on strawberries, pretzels, canteloupe, ice cream and in cake! Hell, who am I kidding? I eat it with a spoon!




Really! I mean, is that IT??? so the milk just turns into caramel?????

bakencake Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:55pm
post #5 of 24

shaibaer, i have done this on the stove top but be careful and make sure that water is always covering the top of the can or the can might explode!!! but yes. it's that simple and the caramel is delicious.

shaibaer Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:55pm
post #6 of 24

Yup! That's it! When I serve it, I feel like that woman from the commercial where the woman "slaved" over her rice krispies treats, lol




We use it as dip for fruit and stuff, and I've put it ON a slice of cake, but never thought to fill a cake with it! lol

shaibaer Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:57pm
post #7 of 24

I always cover the cans really well with water. I usually put them in before going to bed and then get them out in the morning!

eta: I edited my OP to add the risk of not having the cans covered with water

robbynjaye Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:01pm
post #8 of 24

Wow! I'm going to try that tonight. Ok so, is it gooey or more liquid? I would like to use it to fill my snickers cupcakes.

Larkin121 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:08pm
post #9 of 24

I make fresh caramel sauce all the time, it's really easy and SOOOOO tasty. It's basically just water, sugar and heavy cream.

I'm not a fan of dulce de leche for some reason, but a lot of people do like it. That and caramel sauce are two different textures and tastes, though.

robbynjaye Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:12pm
post #10 of 24

Oooh, ok. I will definitely be trying both! I tried making french buttercream last night and i guess I actually made caramel while pouring the sugar syrup in the eggs yolks icon_redface.gif I guess I overcooked the sugar! So I figured, why not make caramel the right way tonight icon_biggrin.gif

mamabaer Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:17pm
post #11 of 24

If you buy, I've found that the Mrs. Richardson's brand is really good.

HappyCake10609 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:40pm
post #12 of 24

I agree with everyone who has said to make home made ulce de leche! I made it for the first time a few months ago and won't ever buy pre-made again! It is SO easy and SO good! I poke holes in the top of my can w/ a can opener and instead of covering w/ water, fill to about 1/4" from the to... then just let it simmer for about 3 hours (longer for thicker caramel, shorter for thinner). I just let it go as I go about my day, just adding a little water here or there... And because I poked the holes to vent steam, I can open the can sooner and not worry about explosions!

This stuff is seriously good!

I had seen a microwave recipe, I'll see if I can find it again!

HappyCake10609 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:43pm
post #13 of 24

OK it was easier than I thought to find the microwave instructions! Here they are:
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/255/Dulce-de-Leche

I haven't tried it, but seems much faster than my method!

robbynjaye Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:59pm
post #14 of 24

Thanks Happycake10609! That is a great reference with good pics so I can see what it looks like!

LindaF144a Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 8:27pm
post #15 of 24

Stupid question here, but is dulce de leche different that caramel sauce, or it it just a different kind of caramel sauce?

I just looked at the site where it was done in a microwave. It looks thicker than what I have made home made and lighter in color too. I can see a need for both kinds, but I am just trying to get an understanding on the difference between that one and the one made by cooking and browning the sugar and then adding cream.

IMO, home made is the only way to go. Once you make it once, you will never go back to grocery store kind. Having said that the bakery I worked at we used Mrs. Richardsons all the time. It was faster than making it. I wonder if the average customer knows the difference really.

HappyCake10609 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 9:11pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Stupid question here, but is dulce de leche different that caramel sauce, or it it just a different kind of caramel sauce?

I just looked at the site where it was done in a microwave. It looks thicker than what I have made home made and lighter in color too. I can see a need for both kinds, but I am just trying to get an understanding on the difference between that one and the one made by cooking and browning the sugar and then adding cream.

IMO, home made is the only way to go. Once you make it once, you will never go back to grocery store kind. Having said that the bakery I worked at we used Mrs. Richardsons all the time. It was faster than making it. I wonder if the average customer knows the difference really.




I think they are generally the same. But you can taste the milk more in dulce de leche... I believe it means "cooked milk." Whereas a regular caramel sauce is cooked sugar with or without cream added... I use them interchangeably... I've cooked dulce de leche for less time and had a thinner sauce (SO good on ice cream)... I usually go for the dulce de leche because I think it is easy and I'm afraid of molten sugar!

LindaF144a Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 9:43pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCake10609

Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Stupid question here, but is dulce de leche different that caramel sauce, or it it just a different kind of caramel sauce?

I just looked at the site where it was done in a microwave. It looks thicker than what I have made home made and lighter in color too. I can see a need for both kinds, but I am just trying to get an understanding on the difference between that one and the one made by cooking and browning the sugar and then adding cream.

IMO, home made is the only way to go. Once you make it once, you will never go back to grocery store kind. Having said that the bakery I worked at we used Mrs. Richardsons all the time. It was faster than making it. I wonder if the average customer knows the difference really.



I think they are generally the same. But you can taste the milk more in dulce de leche... I believe it means "cooked milk." Whereas a regular caramel sauce is cooked sugar with or without cream added... I use them interchangeably... I've cooked dulce de leche for less time and had a thinner sauce (SO good on ice cream)... I usually go for the dulce de leche because I think it is easy and I'm afraid of molten sugar!




Yeah, I know what you mean. When I make caramel sauce I have my "insurance", a bowl of ice water right next to the stove. I get kind of OCD about it, completely unable to make caramel unless I have my bowl of ice water.

Now, how do you know when the sauce is thin enough to use if you cook it for less time, and how much less time are we talking about?

HappyCake10609 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 9:54pm
post #18 of 24

I do the "boil can in water" method... I poke holes in the top of the can and simmer in water for about 2.5 hours for a thin caramel, I've simmered it for abut 3.5 hours to get a thick caramel that's kind of the consistency of peanut butter (like in the picture from the "microwave instructions"). As you simmer the can the cooked milk settles to the bottom, so you just stir it when you are done (and the can has cooled) to incorporate it.

dawncr Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 12:42am
post #19 of 24

If you're still interested in a caramel recipe (vs dulce de leche), Jodie F's recipe is amazing! I'm not a huge fan of caramel, but I couldn't stop eating it. Also search in the forums for comments on this recipe--everyone loves it.

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/6851/thick-caramel-sauce-or-filling

shaibaer Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 1:04am
post #20 of 24

This thread has reminded me that I have an unopened can of de luche in my pantry... Curses!!

josefina20 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 1:30am
post #21 of 24

Now i am confused, is not dulce de leche the same as the cake with tres leches( three milk) icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif

Does any one can tell me how can i make tres leche cake or cake with three milk on it. please icon_redface.gif

pattycakesnj Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 1:48am
post #22 of 24

OMG, I read this thread and just went to the kitchen and pulled out the crock pot and a can of sweetened condensed milk and got it going. Now I can't wait til morning.

AuntieE Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 1:58am
post #23 of 24

I buy Mexican caramel at Walmart. The brand is La Lechera and found with the other Latin foods. There are two kinds. The one in the can is thick and creamy like the inside of a milky way bar. Probably what you will get when you boil the can of sweetened condensed milk. The one in the squeeze bottle is creamy but pourable. I use the pourable to make a caramel buttercream. I use the can when I just want to eat it on a spoon They are both delicious.

scp1127 Posted 15 Apr 2011 , 6:54am
post #24 of 24

Linda, I use the la Lechera (thick) in one blondie recipe. The sweetened condensed milk in a can is not scratch to me. I make caramel, curd, etc., date it, and store it in the refrigerator. My Bananas Foster sauce keeps well in the freezer. I don't know what would happen to scratch caramel if it was frozen. I know you are planning a bakery. I think scratch is still the best.

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