Besides loving to eat caramel. yes by the handful, I make it and it's a great seller. only problem is I need some equipment to make it in large batches and faster then what I am doing on a stove top. I need help and suggestions. If you have any great recipes and want to share, I would love it.
I have a great recipe but I think it needs to be tweeked or changed altogether as it takes 2-3 hours sometimes to make a large batch. Maybe I am crazy and it does take that long but I don't know many others that have the patience to make caramel so they don't. I've only just started digging deeper into the world of caramel so any seasoned advice would be greatly appreciated. this stuff is tricky!
Thanks in advance.
Susan, My caramels are firm enough to have straight sides and be enrobed well. I would not describe my caramel as overly chewy. I was taught to add cocoa butter to my caramel recipe so that it makes a very clean cut. Other caramel recipes are indeed to sticky or firm to be cut by a guitar.
I used to make caramel on the stove top and 12 lbs was the max size I could make. It took at least 2 hours and I had to stir to keep it from scorching. I bought a Savage table top firemixer and made a few 25lb batches in it but I didn't like it because it stirs too fast and heats only from the bottom. I bought a Groen TDB-7 Steam kettle (much cheaper than Fremixer and easier to find used) and it makes great caramel. I used to use the sweetened condensed milk but now use half & half because the kettle boils it so fast. The kettle doesn't scorch it either. I make about 25 lbs which is the max the kettle can do. I only cook it to 240F. I have found that commercial corn syrup (confectioner's) works a lot better than the store brands and doesn't sugar as easily. If you want I can give you the recipe, its not very complicated
I would also like to know the process you guys are using if wrapping caramels (unenrobed) into parchment squares. I cannot visualize how to reduce the time commitment for individually wrapped pieces. Not sure if anyone can describe it in words. Folded, envelope-style? Rectangles with twisted ends? Maybe this is one of those processes that goes very slowly at first, then you get a rhythym and it moves quickly?
We found cellophane squares at a local kitchen supply store. They look prettier than parchment because they are perfectly clear. We haven't had any issues with the caramel sticking to the cellophane.
The process is slow though. :(
I am also looking for a larger batch recipe. Could you please share it with me also?
4lb butter, 6lbs (8c) corn syrup, 4 lb brown sugar, 5 lb white sugar,2 tsp salt, 1tbs soy lecithin, 3 qts half and half. 2 tbs vanilla.
Melt butter, add cornsyrup, sugars, salt,lecithin,- stir until mixed well- add half and half- 1qt at a time.
Bring to boil and cook to 240F. remove heat, add vanilla and pour out in confined 30"x30" or + square to cool.
I don't cut or wrap but extrude later to portion for "turtles"
I can provide you a recipe for an amazing cream caramel that is soft at room temp, but can be cooked longer and made more firm. My recipe doesn't need lecithin.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You need to adjust for altitude. Water boils 1.25 degrees C less for every thousand feet of altitude you climb from sea level, and this makes a HUGE difference in cooking caramel.
4L Whipping Cream (35% MF)
3.6kg unsalted butter
3.6kg granulated sugar
4L Rogers Golden Corn Syrup (helps prevent crystalization)
80ml Good vanilla extract.
This past summer I really struggled with our caramels. I had to throw out several batches of crystallized caramel. I read and researched about every tip. I used clean utensils, pots, lemon juice, added sorbitol (which I am not sure helps?...) and dehumidified my room.
With the recipe that I use, I realized that if I boiled everything together I was more likely to get a crystallized batch. If I boiled the sugar with water and lemon juice (then added the glucose -- followed by the cream) I was more likely to get successful results.
Below is my recipe. I am wondering if I have an oversaturation of sugar or if it was more of an environmental problem considering that my problems were really bad this summer. I stir everything in a copper pot and multiply this recipe 7 times for my typical batch.
I would love to get some insight from you
750 grams cream
700 grams sugar (boiled with water (20% of weight of sugar) and a few tablespoons of lemon juice
200 grams glucose
30 grams sorbitol
200 grams butter
Cook to 245 degrees Farenhite
Daniel ~ I see in a post to me in February - that I just saw. Sorry! - that you were taught to add cocoa butter to your caramels. How much do you add and when? Would you add it to your recipe above? And since I've never added sorbitol to my caramels, what exactly does it do? Does it help with crystallization? Thanks!
I use cocoa butter in a different recipe. The cocoa butter helps with high fat caramels from getting to oily or greasy. In addition, it can give the caramel extra structure and make the cutting a little better. I add it at the end of the cooking process.
I cut all of my caramels on the guitar. I've learned that a lot depends on how high the caramel is cooked. I find that 245 farenhite is the best temperature for me. Any higher and it will break the strings. Any lower and the caramel flows too much.
I'm really intrigued with the idea of using cocoa butter to control stickiness and am going to try it out.
Daniel, may I ask what % of cocoa butter you use? I'm planning on starting with 2% by weight of raw ingredients is a good starting point but I really don't know.
Any suggestions would really help reduce the quantity of R&D batches. :)
I wanted to report back on my R&D batches. After making a few batches of caramel stirring in the cocoa butter as the caramel cooled (hoping to not burn the cocoa butter) and having those batches crystalize, we tried two methods that worked.
Both methods have worked very well & we've decided to go with the increased milk. - It takes longer to cook all that milk out, but tastes just right. :)
Down the road, I'm sure we'll try reducing the milk (from the increase) and increasing the sweetened condensed milk.