Top | Developed in Hungary

Caramel

(recipe, Jon Clark)


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Introduction

One of the points of culinary culture shock has been the complete absence of corn syrup. While not an ingredient I enjoy at all because of where it comes from and what it represents, it is an important tool in the candy making arsenal, certainly for caramel. Out of necessity I've created my own technique for ensuring a caramel that does not become grainy without the insurance of corn syrup. I've also developed some different recipes in the process.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup heavy cream
  2. 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces (70 grams)
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1½ cups sugar (355 mL)
  5. ½ cup water
  6. finishing salt of your choice
  7. 75 mL unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa powder (1)
  8. Special equipment: parchment paper and a candy thermometer

Steps

  1. Using a stick of cold butter rub the insides of a 8x11 baking pan and line the bottom and sides of it with parchment.
  2. Bring cream, butter, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Stir sugar and water together until dissolved and hot. Boil sugar and water in a covered heavy saucepan for 4 minutes.
  4. After the 4 minutes take off the lid and carefully pour the sugar into another pan and resume cooking it.
  5. Watching carefully cook the sugar syrup until it is a darker amber color, but be careful not to burn the sugar.
  6. Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, not stirring at first.
  7. After the mixture has settled down a little stir frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours. Add finishing salt on top. Depending on the color of the caramel and my whim I've added Murray River, Hiwa Kai-Hawaii Black, or Fleur de Sel.
  9. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

Note

(1) Josef’s chocolate “caramel” variation: Just as the caramel reaches ~ 240°F add 75 mL of unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa and stir until smooth. Turn into the baking pan to cool. Fleur de Sel looks absolutely beautiful on this one!