This Soft Caramel is deliciously sweet with a rich flavor and creamy texture
Total Cooking Time: 45 minutes
I am addicted to caramel. I could eat nothing but caramel for days if my teeth could handle it (but I think they would kill me). There are many different types of caramel ranging from sauces to hard candies. This recipe lands somewhere in the middle. I made a soft caramel that holds its shape to add onto my millionaire’s shortbread from the GBBO Challenge Week Four: Signature!
The standard ingredients needed for a hard caramel is sugar and water. To give the caramel a soft texture, heavy cream and butter will also be added. There is a fine balance when creating a softer caramel. I found that adding to many of the rich and creamy ingredients prevent the caramel from setting and turns out to be more of a sauce.
The process for making caramel is simple but does require patience and a watchful eye. The process for making caramel starts off with boiling. This recipe calls for two mixtures to be boiled simultaneously. One mixture is the combination of butter, cream, and salt. The other mixture is sugar and water (which is caramel on its own). Once the sugar and water have turned into a caramel syrup, the hot cream mixture should be added in. And that’s all there is to it!
This process takes a lot of time, patience, and awareness. I know they say that a watched pot never boils, but you’ve got to watch that pot as it boils! And expects some level of mess!
I was very nervous when making this caramel, I wanted to get a rich flavor from the sugar, but I was terrified about burning the sugar. Once the sugar burns, there is no getting that bitter flavor out of the batch. I noticed that one side of the pot was cooking faster than the others, and I should have rotated the pot along the heat to get a more even distribution. Luckily, I was able to pull the caramel off of the heat before it started to burn but it was a close call.
What is Caramelization?
Caramelization is the process of browning sugar which brings out a sweet nutty flavor and a brown color. The heat also brings forward a toastiness, and a buttery creaminess. As a fun side note, caramelization is chemical reaction between the sugar molecules and the oxygen in the air.
Classic Creamy Caramel
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter
- ⅔ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Water
- Place butter, cream, and salt into a small pan and gently heat until almost boiling
- Put sugar and water into a medium pan over low heat. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted.
- Turn heat up to medium and boil rapidly until sugar/water mixture because a rich caramel color. Remove from heat
- Carefully pour the hot cream mixture into the caramel syrup, stirring continuously until sauce is smooth and thick.
- Leave to cool. When caramel reached 95°F – 104°F, shape as desired.