cmom Posted 22 Sep 2011 , 12:29pm
post #1 of

I made caramel yesterday and by the time it cooled it seemed the butter had separated from the caramel and it was just kind of gloppy. What did i do wrong??

14 replies
cakestyles Posted 22 Sep 2011 , 10:25pm
post #2 of

Did you use a thermometer and cook it to the recommended temperature?

What recipe did you use?

cmom Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 1:08pm
post #3 of

No, I didn't use a thermometer, I guess that was my problem.The recipe was from the Big Book of cupcakes:
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
1 C whipping cream.
Cook butter & sugar over high heat until it is caramel colored (4-5 min)
Slowly add cream then return to heat and bring to a boil for 1-2 min.

It tasted good but I never got that good caramel smell that I have in the past when making it.

I am assuming it either got too hot or not hot enough.

Any suggestions? Thanks

cakestyles Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 7:23pm
post #4 of

Yes, you definitely need a thermometer to make caramel.

Also, it takes a lot longer than 4 to 5 minutes to reach the temperature needed, so I'd say that recipe was for more of a caramel "like" topping instead of real caramel.

I purchased my thermometer at I think it was Bed Bath and Beyond with their coupon for way under $20, they're good to have.

cakestyles Posted 23 Sep 2011 , 7:28pm
post #5 of

Here's an AWESOME caramel recipe that I've been using for years. It's SOOO good....but I warn you, it's HIGHLY addictive. lol

When I have any of this left over from an order I store it in the back of my fridge and every once in a while I treat myself to a spoonful. shhhhh I don't tell anyone in my family that it's there...it's all mine. lol

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

cmom Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 8:05pm
post #6 of

Looks like this recipe got rave reviews so I will definitely give it a try! Thanks! The candy thermometer I have (at least I think it is a candy thermometer) hooks on the side of my saucepan and it doesn't touch the bottom. Is that how it should be sitting or should it be in the pan touching the bottom? I am not even sure I am using it correctly when I do use it.

cmom Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 8:05pm
post #7 of

Looks like this recipe got rave reviews so I will definitely give it a try! Thanks! The candy thermometer I have (at least I think it is a candy thermometer) hooks on the side of my saucepan and it doesn't touch the bottom. Is that how it should be sitting or should it be in the pan touching the bottom? I am not even sure I am using it correctly when I do use it.

cakestyles Posted 24 Sep 2011 , 10:04pm
post #8 of

You'll want the thermometer to touch the caramel but you don't want it resting on the bottom of the pan.

You should be able to adjust it up and down.

Mine clips on the side of the pan too and I just move it up or down depending on the size of my pan or how high my ingredients are in the pan.

So the bottom of the thermometer should be in the liquid you're cooking.

LindaF144a Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 8:03pm
post #9 of

delete. Not talking about the same thing as the OP and I don't feel like arguing with a stranger either.

cakestyles Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 8:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

Yes, you definitely need a thermometer to make caramel.

Also, it takes a lot longer than 4 to 5 minutes to reach the temperature needed, so I'd say that recipe was for more of a caramel "like" topping instead of real caramel.

I purchased my thermometer at I think it was Bed Bath and Beyond with their coupon for way under $20, they're good to have.



Respectfully, no you don't.

We make caramel sauce twice a day, every day. We do not use a thermometer. We go by sight. You want a nice dark color. By the time it gets a nice dark color, it is definitely warm enough. I never learned to make it with a thermometer, not have I ever seen it in textbooks that way either.

Instead if you want butter in your caramel sauce (It is not necessary by the way. A good sauce will taste very yummy without the butter), add it in the end after you add the heaving whipping cream. It will be hot enough to melt the butter. It could be the butter is separating because of when you add it, not the temperature of the sugar.




And I respectfully disagree with you. Making caramel is a lot different than making caramel "sauce". You don't need to get your sugar as hot when your making a sauce as opposed to a real caramel.

If you don't get that sugar to the proper temperature you'll either end up with separation, sugar granules/crystals or a caramel that doesn't set up.

How can you possibly determine the soft ball or hard ball temperature without having a thermometer?

I'm certainly not a novice, I went to culinary school 25 yrs ago, but I still use a thermometer even if I "think" the color looks right I'm still off 10 degrees.

Especially for someone who has never made caramel before, a thermometer is a necessity.

I want a thick, chewy, stringy textured caramel, not a sauce. The recipe link I posted is just that...it's not a pourable sauce that you'd use on a sundae.

cakestyles Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 8:33pm

I thought I'd post some other caramel recipes...all of which require a thermometer and cooking the caramel to a specific temperature.

In fact every recipe I've ever seen for "real" caramel instructs to use a candy thermometer.

http://www.joyofbaking.com/candy/Caramels.html

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/caramels/detail.aspx

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,177,149187-254199,00.html

http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/caramel-cake/

cakestyles Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 8:40pm

I didn't think we were arguing. I was just trying to clarify the difference between real caramel and a caramel sauce, so that the OP receives the accurate information.

I don't argue on forums. icon_biggrin.gif

cmom Posted 26 Sep 2011 , 12:38am

Well, I did make the caramel filling from cake central and I can say it is to die for! I had to get it away from me to stop eating it and I usually have pretty good self control! Today I made caramel apples with it but will use the rest for cupcakes. Yum!
I did discover that my candy thermometer is not accurate so hopefully i adjusted properly. Now that I realize the thermometer isn't accurate I will also have to try again with a caramel without the butter. Less fat.
Thanks for the info.

icer101 Posted 26 Sep 2011 , 1:00am

I make jodief's recipe and it IS to DIE for. I try all different kinds. I LOVE CARAMEL.

cakestyles Posted 26 Sep 2011 , 1:42am

Isn't it awesome? It's my favorite.

It's really good in homemade Turtles too. I love that recipe, but my waistline doesn't. icon_lol.gif

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