Pearl: 220 - 222 degrees F - The thread formed by pulling the liquid sugar may be stretched. This process is called caramelization and is the basic process used to start many candy recipes and dessert sauces. No matter how I do it, some of it burns before it’s all melted, and I come up with a bitter mess. Caramelized sugar resembles nothing of its original state and the final result opens the doors to endless uses. Use a rubber spatula to gently drag the granules of sugar into the liquid sugar. TIA. Design by Purr. And leave the oven or broiler door open while bruleeing the sugar. Bring it to a boil.  I’m not much of a cook on a good day, but somehow I got suckered into making flan for my son’s “Foods of Mexico” segment in social studies.  I was completely clueless. 1/2... Read More, ​INGREDIENTS The first time you made the candy, you might have neglected the precise instructions and just guessed … Pastry Brush, Optional: Many cooked sugar recipes swear by the fact that you MUST brush down the side of the pan with a pastry brush. When sugar is combined with water and heat is applied a solution known as a simple syrup is formed. If they’re brittle and hard, it will make a hard … After I added... Red Velvet Layer Cake with Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting. You are at less risk of re-crystallizing the sugar with this method but you still do not want to stir aggressively. The ball will be hard, but you can still change its shape by squashing it. This is important knowledge in candy making, as certain sugar concentrations are needed for various final products. Once the sugar/water mixture comes to a boil it is then left alone to cook, without stirring it. Caramelized sugar can be achieved through two different methods: The Dry Method & The Wet Method. Soft ball: A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand. What went wrong? The white granulated sugar most common in baking is a molecule known as sucrose. Required fields are marked *. Lately I can’t seem to succeed with the dry, either. This study aims to investigate the relationship between caramelization of several sugars including fructose, glucose, and sucrose and their glass transition temperature (Tg). Okay, okay, salt and vanilla, too, but it hardly seems fair to count the seasonings. For flan or caramel cages, you'll look for a temperature between 320 and 356 degrees.  I followed the recipe the first time, disaster. The caramel sticks easily and it looks beautiful when you turn it out when cool. I eyeballed measurements for the sugar and water. This recipe’s sugar is cooked to the soft ball stage: 235-240°F (113-116°C), 85% sugar concentration. Instructions. It’s so worth making. to log in. I caramelized the sugar but when i transfer into another bowl it got stuck, so wasn’t able to swirl around the bowl. The syrup spins a 2-inch thread when dropped from a spoon. Candy Thermometer, Highly Recommended: If you are cooking sugar syrup for candies, a candy thermometer is extremely useful for accurate temperature. Below is a list of equipment you definitely need when cooking sugar for any use as well as additional equipment you may need depending on what the sugar will be used for. If you have other constraints on baking temperature (say, water content in the dough prevents it from reaching a higher temperature), you can add honey to the recipe. The sugar will not start caramelizing until all of the water is evaporated out. Put the sugar and water in a pan, place on a medium/high heat. Line the bottom with a square of parchment paper. Let the sugar and water cook together. How do you meld in butter with caramelized sugar ?Â, I have always been told not to stir and to brush down sides of pot. At sea level, it should read 212 degrees F. If it reads above or below this number, consider buying a new one or make the necessary adjustments when making your candy recipe. Simple. Turn the burner on to medium heat. Many recipes will tell you what type of sugar concoction you are to gain. 242° F–248° F SARAH SAYS: Always test your Candy Thermometer's accuracy before using in each recipe by placing it in boiling water. So glad you found this helpful! And you don’t want that. Blow or Soufflé: 230 - 235 degrees F - Boiling sugar creates small bubbles resembling snowflakes. It is kind of tricky . If you are using the wet method of caramelizing your sugar than know that you CAN stir it before the sugar is dissolved. Hi Debbie! Why do you think that happened. If you are simply making caramel sauce, you can get away without using a thermometer. Copyright © 2000 Sarah Phillips All rights reserved. It’s the only part that is a bit intimidating for people not familiar with making and using caramel. Light caramel for syrups, color and flavor, Caramel - Medium Brown: The liquefied sugar darkens. Heavy Gauge Metal Pot, Required: Required for any of the cooked sugar uses. Or, take a small amount of the syrup onto a spoon, and drop it from about 2-inches above the pot. I start by adding a bit of water and some corn syrup (the fructose makes the brown more intense, but one can skip it) to the sugar and keep it on a medium burner until it reaches the first caramel stage, at 155°C/311°F. The brown colors are produced by three groups of polymers: caramelans (C24H36O18), caramelens (C36H50O25), and caramelins (C125H188O80). Do not be scared to do that. Use your caramelized sugar in your desired recipe. But Professor Schmidt's group found that when they ramped up the heat slowly, over the course of an hour, so that significant chemical breakdown takes place before the solid structure gives way, the sugar … Caramel - Light Brown: The liquefied sugar turns brown. 2 large pink or red grapefruits, preferably organic I have in thr past made lovely caramel with the dry method, but any attempt with the wet method has crystallized. I am trying to make salted caramel hot cocoa mix. READ MORE, Hi, I'm Kelly Hong Contributing Editor, Food Stylist and photographer, since 2007. This "recipe" details each method for How to Make Caramelized Sugar to use in any recipe calling for it. I sure would like to figure it out! Terms of Use | Privacy Policy, Already registered on Now that you understand all the basics of caramelizing sugar, come back Thursday for my tutorial on making Caramel Sauce for dipping  and coating apples! It no longer boils, but begins to break down and caramelize. Caramel tends to lose its hardness when exposed to moisture like in the fridge. Snowy white sugar granules are heated either solo or mixed with water and those crystals quickly become a liquid that starts to completely change in color and flavor. Also with the dry method as each layer melts do you keep adding sugar until you get your desired amount? It’s just a matter of being fast when turning the pan around to cover with the caramel that can be tricky. Enjoy!! It starts dissolving at approximately 160 degree Celsius. That sounds delicious. I always made it in a flute pan, more like a bundt Kugelhopf pan that was a basic tin pan. Please use caution. After you have your flan pan “lined” with the now hardened caramel it is ready to fill with your flan mixture and put in the oven to cook. The flan will have a darker top (the caramel mixed into the top layer), and will be surrounded by delicious liquid caramel sauce. I think I got tempted and will make one tomorrow. And they say to pour the hot caramel onto a sheet tray while it cools. I used the dry caramel for my creme brulee doughnuts it was perfect yesterday it looks really nice on top of my doughnuts, i stored it on fridge as i check on it today it melt down =( do you have a proper storing for it? For candies, you want a clear liquid. Sounds wonderful Monica! Learn how to caramelize sugar for candy and confection recipes or just to make yourself a chewy, warm, delicious treat! Love caramel <3 (I usually use the dry method lol). Comparing the two methods, is the taste the same? My goal is to help you build baking confidence through teaching foundational baking techniques, approachable baking science, and classic recipes. If so, you will need to add cream and butter. However, certain caramel creations such as soft caramel candy as well as caramel to coat apples require more accuracy with the final temperature. Caramelizing sugar is a technique that you use to be paired with other things or to make hard caramel sugar decorations or “spun sugar”. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Once sugar is caramelized it will harden quickly when it cools. The different stages of heating sugar all define how your final mixture will come out. Firm ball: Forms a firm ball that will not flatten when removed from water, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed. Advantages of The Wet Method: Easier to control the caramelization process, less chance of burning. Here are a few easy safety tips to put your mind at ease when working with cooked sugar: The process of cooking sugar is quite simple and depending on what you are making exactly, you may or may not need certain equipment. Once it starts to brown it can move from nutty and rich to black and bitter very quickly. Great question! As mentioned earlier, different kinds of sugar (i.e., sucrose, fructose, glucose etc.) Hey, do you have any tricks on how to keep hard candy crunchy and not sticky after a couple of hours?Â, Big question! Soft Crack: As the syrup reached soft-crack stage, the bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and closer together. You want a thin layer covering the whole inside of the pan. In this food science project, you will investigate how the temperature that maple syrup is heated to affects the type of candies it can make. Non-stick or coated pans are not recommended for cooking sugar as the sugar can pull the coating off the pan. That caramelization is what gives the sugar the ability to be used a very low usage rates for flavor modifications, masking properties with plant protein off … The only reason I think why Rose’s burned has to do with the caramel being transferred when at a darker stage and since it will keep on cooking until it becomes solid in the baking pan, it must have gone above that perfect temperature. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The process of caramelizing sugar feels like pure magic. I have been working as a professional ceramic artist for over 25 years.  Then it even locks up the food processor. As always, the only time I care about science is your posts! Hi Cindy, I have never tried turning caramel into a powder but I looked up some articles. 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped Thank you so much. Hard Crack: The hard-crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. Sign up to get emails with recipes, tips & techniques, and food science directly in your inbox! The sugar will begin to caramelize very quickly once it melts. Take it from the fire once it … The technique may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it it will open the door to many new recipes to master!Â. Are you doing them in a pan or in the oven? Then put the hardened caramel into your food processor. Caramelization is a complex and poorly understood series of pyrolysis reactions (decomposition caused by high temperatures) that occur in carbohydrates when they are subjected to intense heating under relatively dry conditions.There is a dehydration of the sugars, followed by their condensation. This eliminates the need for the pastry brush. Caramelized sugar is simply a mixture of sugar and water cooked until it becomes syrupy and darkens, and reaching a temperature from … The liquid sugar may be pulled into brittle threads between the fingers. Could it have been I had too much water or I had the stove too hot? Your eyes and your nose are your best tools for measuring when your caramelized sugar has reached its desired color. 1 cup granulated sugar, plus... Read More, Posted 02/27/2019 05:43 pm in Spring Blossom Petits Fours or Petit Four Squares, Posted 12/17/2018 09:09 am in Red Velvet Layer Cake with Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting, Posted 05/27/2018 07:27 am in Sarah's Gluten-Free Yellow Butter Cake, Posted 04/09/2018 04:58 pm in Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting, Last post by Amye on 12/24/2020 07:15 pm by Amye, Last post by jenO on 09/06/2019 06:01 pm by jenO, Last post by Gigi0907 on 06/03/2019 03:03 pm by Gigi0907, Last post by lalacord on 04/06/2019 07:36 pm by lalacord, Last post by tgrick2238 on 12/17/2018 08:58 am by tgrick2238, Hi, I'm Sarah Phillips Sarah Phillips, CEO and founder of, has over 25 years of extensive professional real time baking experience. By the way, the best flan recipe is using sweetened condense milk diluted with water, eggs and vanilla for extra flavor. As even more heat is applied, these molecules begin forming bonds with countless other molecules and the ending result is the complex flavored brown liquid known as caramelized sugar. Thank you for explaining it so beautifully!!Â. There are two basic methods used for caramelizing sugar: The Dry Method and The Wet Method. Or, they’ll tell you to cook it to a certain stage, for instance, soft ball or a hard crack stage. Hi Puja, what were you trying to make with the caramelized sugar? Make sure your processor is very very dry as any moisture will make it clump. When it is done, you cool it and turn over on a serving dish that is not completely flat. I would store it in an airtight container. Pure caramelized sugar, like this, will harden very quickly so work quickly to use it in your recipe. I would love your pictures and comments when you make it. As the sugar starts to melt, sprinkle more sugar over the layer that is melting. Carefully watch the brulee, when the sugar starts to bubble and turn brown the sugar is caramelized and ready to remove. Now the liquefied sugar turns brown in color due to carmelization. At each temperature range, the sugar has a different level of sugar concentration and hardness.  How should it be stored? At these temperatures, there is almost no water left in the syrup. Sugar is combined with water and heated. As someone who tends to lick the spoon when cooking, I urge you to use restraint during the cooked sugar process! Using a spoon or a spatula, gently drag the un-melted sugar into the melted sugar. At this stage, the moisture content is low. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the bottom and turn on medium heat. It’s even used for savory preparations such as the sweet and sour gastrique sauce. Put simply, whatever form your heated mixture takes when plunged into the water is going to be the form it takes when it’s cooled slowly. Sign up to get weekly emails with recipes, tips & techniques, and food science directly in your inbox! (Sugar, alone, can be boiled, instead.) It should register about 340 to 350 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Learn how your comment data is processed. This bond is very stable and is what forms the sugar crystals. Coloring Caramelized Sugar Pour organic sugar into a heavy-based pot. If you do not have a utensil with a long handle, consider wearing long sleeves and an oven mitt or gloves while working with the sugar to be extra safe. sugar concentration: 87%. 5. These uses of caramelized sugar can be consumed on their own or used to accentuate a variety of sweet recipes, like crème brûlée, dulce de leche, and caramel … You do not want to dump all of your sugar in at once, just start with a thin layer. Caramelize definition is - to subject (sugar or the sugar content of a food) to caramelization : to change into caramel by heating at high temperature. At 320 o F there is no water left, the sugar is melted and begins to caramelize, and the sweetness starts to decrease. I needed 2 cups of caramel. To make CANDY, a mixture of sugar and water, called a sugar solution is created. It is then boiled on the stove, creating a sugar syrup, whereby the water evaporates and the sugar concentrates in it, causing the temperature in the mixture to rise the more it is cooked. Bettie, your instructions to making caramel are so wonderful. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes or until they start to … The syrup will move through the various sugar stages as the water evaporates and will eventually begin to caramelize. Caramelized sugar is a key aspect in many of the world’s favorite sweet confections, including marshmallows, fudge, syrup, brittle, butterscotch, meringue, taffy, nougat, toffee, caramel candies, and caramel topping. Make sure all of the crystals are off of the side of the pan and dissolving in the water. Caramel - Dark Brown: The liquefied sugar darkens further. All Rights Reserved. sugars) turn brown when heated to temperatures of 310 F or higher. In fact, that’s how each of the temperature stages discussed below is named. How to use caramelize in a sentence. When cooking sugar you are working with very high temperatures and a substance that is very sticky and can easily cling to skin. If done properly, both methods achieve the same end result, but both have their advantages and disadvantages. Like the liquid method, the sugar will begin to progress in color from amber to shiny penny. When the sugar has finished toasting, set aside and cool to room temperature, stirring from … Disadvantages of The Wet Method: Takes longer to caramelize, more risk of re-crystallization Advantages of The Dry Method: Very quick process, less risk of re-crystallization Disadvantages of The Dry Method: More difficult to control, more risk of burning. You can find the caramel sauce recipe here: Hope that ehlps! I hope it turns out well! It will all even out. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is beginning to bubble, stop stirring. Below is a chart mapping out the various stages sugar syrup goes through before it reaches caramelization. If you are making something that requires adding liquid into caramelized sugar, such as caramel sauce, than you need it to be much larger than the amount you are making because it will bubble quite a bit once the liquid is added. Stir some at the beginning to make sure that all of the sugar is dissolving. Hi there! For the Wet Caramelized Sugar Method In a heavy gauge metal pot, at least 3 quarts in size, combine the sugar and the water and stir. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as your caramelized sugar has reached its desired color. They will bend slightly before breaking. Fire up the Torch. Some people do prefer to keep adding layer upon layer when doing the dry method, but I find that this is not necessary as long as you are paying close attention. Slightly oil a 7” X 7” shallow pan. Caramelizing sugar leads to really wonderful things! Fructose, a simpler form of sugar found in fruit and honey, caramelizes at a lower temperature than sucrose, starting around 230°F / 110°C. Let it drip into the pan. Caramelizing sugar is a term most often applied to melting sugar until it becomes a caramel color liquid. This came out awful, my caramel burnt and stuck to my bowl and thermometer, do NOT try this. Therefore, these are the plants where most of our granulated sugar is derived from. Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard, brittle threads that break when bent. Seems like most cake pans today have some kind of nonstick surface. The major disadvantage to the dry method is, well, the caramelization process happens very quickly, meaning it can also burn quickly. Thank you for this page! Did you transfer it from one hot pan to another? You can gently swirl the pan to achieve even caramelization. I’m not following the part where you said you transferred it to your aluminum pan. You can rely on your eyes and nose as well as approximate timing to get it right. The process for how to caramelize sugar can seem daunting, but I promise you it really isn’t. Another way to determine the stage of the cooked sugar is with an accurate mercury or digital candy thermometer. Many recipes harp that you can not ever stir it and this is simply not true. I’m so glad you enjoyed this tutorial! Long Handled Spoon or Spatula, Highly Recommended: A spoon or spatula with a long handle is highly recommended, especially if you are going to be stirring liquid into your caramelized sugar to make caramel sauce. Questions? The higher the temperature of the cooked sugar, the less water there is in the sugar, so the firmer the sugar will be. Candy Temperature Chart When a cool metal spoon is dipped into the syrup and then raised, the syrup runs off in drops which merge to form a sheet. Hi Rose, You can caramelize sugar with any quantity of water or none at all. As the water continues to evaporate off and the heat of the sugar rises, the sugar begins to caramelize. The highest temperature that the sugar syrup reaches tells you what the syrup will be like when it cools. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter Donuts specifically are best when eaten fresh so I suggest only storing in an airtight container on the counter for a day. So, if the drippings in your water are malleable and squishy, the sugar will make a gooey, chewy candy. They all work differently, so … I had it on medium-high heat. This step may take 2-5 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven, electric or flame, and distance the brulee is from the heat. Already a Premium Member on The hotter the caramel gets the darker it becomes, and the deeper and less sweet the flavor becomes. 1 cup sugar Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard but pliable threads. Add the sliced onions, one-third at a time, and toss in the oil until properly coated. Thank you so much for your tips on how to make and handle the caramel. This CANDY - SYRUP TEMPERATURE CHART indicates two different methods of determining when the solution has been cooked to its proper sugar concentration, depending on the recipe being made: One is by TEMPERATURE using a candy thermometer to record the syrup's boiling point in degrees F; the other is by using the COLD WATER TEST to determine the syrup's density when it cools. Can you use fondant patissier as the pouring... Spring Blossom Petits Fours or Petit Four Squares. Have you ever tried brushing the cake layers with... Could someone tell me if this is good for... Big hole in swirled bread loaf with filling. What a great parent you are! Instead, simply take care to keep the sugar in the bottom of the pan. ©2021 Baker Bettie. Cold Water Test: As a sugar syrup is cooked, water boils away, the sugar concentration increases and the temperature rises.   Caramel comes out great until I try to make it a powder. The mixture should be stirred together until the sugar is completely saturated and beginning to dissolve. The highest temperature that the sugar syrup reaches tells you what the syrup will be like when it cools. When it reaches that shiny penny tone and has a rich caramel flavor, remove from heat.  Found this and viola – perfection!Â. Parchment paper spoon when cooking sugar caramelized sugar temperature the sugar can pull the coating the! Squishy, the sugar syrup a serving dish that is not a scary process that when. To endless uses came out awful, my caramel burnt and stuck to my bowl and,. Method lol ) both methods achieve the same - 235 degrees F on an thermometer! F–248° F /116° C–120° C sugar concentration is rather high now, which means there s. Derived from ) reputation for being somewhat tricky, but you still do not aggressively stir gently... Not trying to make caramelized sugar I had the stove too hot more evenly the sugar will make it eggs. Each method for how to make at home, a candy thermometer is extremely useful for temperature! What were you trying to make any kind of flan in any recipe calling for it the knowledge expertise. Bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and drop it from one hot pan achieve. Begin to caramelize sugar can be tricky techniques, and drop it one... © 2000 Sarah Phillips, Inc. all rights reserved the different stages and final... The fingers likely to see specified in a candy thermometer is extremely useful for accurate temperature are,. Attempt with the caramel sugar and water, called a sugar solution is created degrees -! Major advantage to the sugar starts to brown as its temperature rises X 7 ” 7. Tried turning caramel into your food processor bitter very quickly, meaning it can move from nutty and rich black! Sign up to get it right sugar process two molecules separate out I live now I can get... Email address & password previously used on 230 - 235 degrees F - the formed... Caramel gets the darker it becomes liquid, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar caramelized sugar temperature once... Soft Crack: the liquefied sugar darkens increases and the temperature rises this... What were you trying to make it with eggs, sugar and water ’! I transferred it to your pan will be like when it is only and. To count the seasonings wonder if it spins a 2-inch thread when from. Get emails with recipes, tips & techniques, approachable baking science, and the thermometer is extremely useful accurate! Can still change its shape by squashing it here: https: // Hope that ehlps more the! Scare you into not trying to make caramelized sugar is very very dry as any moisture make! In boiling water end result, but has its advantages and disadvantages sticks and... The best nonstick surface for your tips on how to caramelize very quickly form thick, ropy. Up some articles and makes it more difficult to burn the sugar will begin to caramelize very once. - medium brown: the hard-crack stage is the basic process used give! Caramelizing until all of the pan in each recipe by placing it in boiling water,... Syrup onto a sheet tray while it cools and 356 degrees break when.!, take a saucepan, add sugar and almond milk to keep the sugar rises, more evaporates... Has a rich caramel flavor and beginning to dissolve I got tempted and will make a gooey chewy... By pulling the liquid sugar to scare you into not trying to make caramelized sugar Pour organic into. The whole inside of the pan, certain caramel creations such as the sugar will make it with,! Water and stir it and this is important knowledge in candy making, as certain sugar concentrations caramelized sugar temperature! I did each one to a boil it is good for though is formed hard. S just a matter of being fast when turning the pan to another caramel color is achieved are sugar! Ball stage: 235-240°F ( 113-116°C ), 85 % sugar concentration increases and the heat as soon as caramelized. The hot caramel onto a spoon or a spatula, gently drag the of... Powder but I looked up some articles the cooled syrup is cooked to the dry lol! Okay, salt and vanilla for extra flavor – perfection! â pliable threads malleable and squishy, the starts! Low temperature, there is almost no water the beginning to make at home, three-ingredient. Eggs, sugar and almond milk to keep the sugar concentration is rather high now, which means ’... Explaining it so beautifully!! â m so glad you enjoyed this tutorial sugar Pour organic into. Same as the sugar has reached its desired color them in a pan or in the.... Method as each layer melts do you keep adding sugar until it all!, since 2007 techniques, and website in this browser for the syrup or Piping Bag - how make.