Buttercream Couture » Home of the Impostor Pastry Chef

Caramel: Caramel Candy

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When my niece Isabel was turning ten years old, she had only one gift she wanted from me: A giant glob of caramel candy. She didnt want it cut up or wrapped or anything, she just wanted to eat a solid mass of sugars, fats and general refined unhealthyness to celebrate her ten years of life. And being the understanding Auntie that I am, I made it for her! My neice is a very sweet little girl, but my sister later told me that she had to hide the huge caramel blob away during the day as Isabel became a sugar-crazed-caramel-monster who was willing to lie/cheat/steal in order to get her fix. She had even been caught petting it on occasion (I think this was just to make it germy so she didn’t have to share it with her sister). It transformed her, that unnaturally large chunk of caramel candy, and with good reason! But you will have to make it for yourself to see what dark powers it holds…muahahaa-HAhahaa-muaha. And I expect a full report.

 

Why I love Caramel Candy: 

1. It’s chewy! Its twisty! It sticks to your teeth! You can suck on it, gobble it or swallow it whole! AND it only messes up ONE pot when you are making it!

2. If you make it and share it, you are guaranteed to make many friends! Sure, the friendship might be conditional or superficially based on your caramel production, but some of us should really just take whatever friends we can get >:)  <- ooh that was nasty, I totally had people in mind when I wrote it too… double >:)

3. Food gift, food gift, food gift.

4. In this format we aren’t dumbing it down, diluting it, mixing it into anything, or having it as an addition to something else. It’s 100% about the caramel alone, we are just eeeeeeaating it in all its glory!

 

Caramel Candy

1.5 cups white sugar

1.5 cups brown sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1 cup evaporated milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

(Did you just gain 5 lbs from reading the ingredients?!? Yeeeaaaah baby!)

How I do it: Get all the ingredients except the vanilla into a big pot. Bigger then you would expect! I use the one I use for soup, its 7.6 litres and its perfect. Put it on the stove and set the temp to somewhere between medium and high. Have your candy thermometer nearby and start stirring…

and stirring…

and stirring…

and STIRRING!

Honestly, omg. I timed it this last time I made it, I stirred for 45 mins. I kept on getting visuals of my arm popping off and landing in the caramel, thats how much you have to stir. What you are waiting for is the thermometer to register 250 degrees. As the caramel cooks, the water boils out which is what makes all those liquidy things you added turn into a soft but solid mass after its been cooled. But the process of getting the water out takes FOR-EV-ER. And remember, you are absolutely forbidden to stop stirring for any reason at all! It is also going to foam up and triple in size during this water-relieving process, which is why we do the big pot.

**Just a quick note about the thermometer: don’t be a weeny and decide you are not going to make this because kitchen gadgets intimidate you! The thermometer is your friend, see?

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All you need to do is stick it in the pot every now and then and see what number it tells you! Thats all! And honestly, with a recipe like this, if it goes a degree or two above or below its not gonna ruin the batch. I’ve read some pretty scary info on caramel, like dropping the temp based on how many feet above sea level you are or the humidity of the day and such. If you haven’t figured it out yet, let me tell you now that things aren’t really that specific around here (I’m not the self proclaimed impostor pastry chef for nothing). So be the thermometer’s friend!

Its gonna get to 245 degrees pretty fast and then maddeningly crawl those last five degrees but just keep on checking every couple of minutes. Once it hits 250 get it off the heat, stir in your vanilla and consider your options:

Option #1: Pour the caramel into a parchment lined and lightly sprayed cookie sheet. When it cools you can cut it and wrap it in wax paper like this!

Option #2: Let the caramel cool for a few minutes on the stove and then dip apples in it! Just dunk the apple and give it a little twirl on the way out. Let it drip over the pot for a minute and then plop it down on a piece of parchment or wax paper til it firms up! I cut mine with a knife rather then gnawing it off a stick, but if you prefer to eat like a caveman then just jam a popsicle stick into the top before dunking.
Option #3: Cut parchment paper into little circles that will fit the bottom of a muffin tin and put them there. Give the tin a little shot of non-stick spray and then start spooning hot caramel right from the pot into the tins. Squish a few pecan halves into the caramel and give it a minute to cool a bit. Then melt some chocolate and spoon that over top!
International trademarks keep me from referring to these by the name we all know them by, so just to be cheeky, lets call them “tortoises”.
Once cooled the “tortoises” will pop right outta the tins if you just wedge a table knife down one side and angle it up. And make sure you peel the parchment circle off the bottom before you eat them! I made the mistake of not and have to say, it was still pretty delicious though oddly textured.

I love the great many variety of things you can get from one batch of this caramel, but if it ends up that you eat a good portion of it right from the pot with a spoon, I won’t judge you (actually, that is secret option #4). Enjoy your week with your new BFF the candy thermometer and I will see you back here next Thursday for week 4 in the Caramel series!

xo,

PS – Subscribe to the blog (in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page) so you don’t miss any of the deliciousness. And you know, it would be really swell if you could all show Frances some love as well, seeing as she is the one giving us all the eye candy! Her blog is here and her Facebook page is here!
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  • October 11, 2012 - 8:21 pm

    admin - Quick note: One batch made me a small pan of plain caramels, half a doz tortoises and half a doz apples. Dip your apples and make your turtles and pour whatever is left over into whatever size pan will accommodate it.ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    Belinda - Hi!!

    Is that 250 Fahrenheit?ReplyCancel

    • October 14, 2012 - 9:25 am

      admin - Yup! Sorry, should have specified that in the post. Ill go back and edit it in! Thanks! xo, MelissaReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 3:48 am

    Omali G - Like everything else you make, Awesome!!!ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2012 - 6:40 am

    Melisa - OMG I want to do 2 things right now:

    1. Eat the computer screen
    2. Hug you around the neck for this postReplyCancel

    • October 14, 2012 - 9:25 am

      admin - Hahahaaa!! Thank you!!! xo, MelissaReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 6:26 am

    Dina - you make it seem so easy and i like your variations!ReplyCancel

    • October 14, 2012 - 9:21 am

      admin - @Dina – Thats because it IS so easy! I am convinced that people like to complicate recipes and make things more difficult then they are just to be all culinary and fancy. I hope you give this a try, I am sure you will nail it! xo, MelissaReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    Laura - Thank you for this delicious recipe and beautiful pictures. Your writing is so engaging, I had to read the birthday caramel story aloud to my family! So, so delighted to have found your blog…ReplyCancel

    • October 14, 2012 - 9:19 am

      admin - @ Laura – And I am so delighted you found it! xo, MelissaReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2012 - 11:07 pm

    EC - Looks yummy.ReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2012 - 2:02 am

    Aly - This would have been awesome for when I made chocolate/caramel fondue and had to unwrap a gazillion caramel candies!ReplyCancel

  • October 14, 2012 - 10:33 pm

    jess white @athriftyfoodie - beautiful recipe and photos!! xxReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2012 - 4:17 pm

    Zara - I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information. I’ll love to read your next post too.ReplyCancel

  • October 26, 2012 - 7:34 am

    tara - Hi I live in the UK and can’t get corn syrup. Can you. Suggest an alternative? My son adored the cracker caramel recipe. Thank you. X x xReplyCancel

  • November 1, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Melody - Again this year, I’m attempting to make all my Christmas gifts so those tortoises are definitely on my list! Eeeeee! Can’t wait to try them :-)ReplyCancel

  • November 1, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    Caramel: Escargot » Buttercream Couture - […] Caramel: Caramel Candy […]ReplyCancel

  • January 10, 2015 - 5:17 pm

    Stella - 250 degrees Fahrenheit is too high! My caramel came out so hard, so disappointed after all the work it took to make the tortoises.ReplyCancel

    • May 1, 2015 - 1:50 pm

      xo, Melissa - Shoot! Im sorry to hear you caramel came out so hard! I can assure you that 250 is a standard temp, it considered the “hardball” stage of caramel. If it came out way too hard and wasn’t soft and chewy, then it could be your thermometer. You could try again and test the caramel around 240 with using the frozen plate method.ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2015 - 10:01 am

    Homemade Salted Caramel Turtles! | Cookie in the Kitchen - […] caramel sauce recipe I had used in the past. Now unlike caramel sauce which has 3 ingredients, caramel candy has 7 plus requires like 45 minutes of vigorous stirring. Melissa’s instructions are concise […]ReplyCancel

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