Today I have been experimenting with caramel. My goal is to create 2 different kinds of caramels –one to cover in chocolate and the other a caramel chew. The caramel chew needs to be firmer then the chocolate dipped caramel. The firmness of caramel is largely determined by the temperature the batch is allowed to reach. For each recipe, I use all fresh, natural ingredients. Butter, heavy cream, and sugar were the basic components.
Generally speaking, caramels are variations of boiled sugar enriched with cream. As the solution cooks, the protein in the dairy reacts with the sugar, creating a rich golden brown color. Caramels often call for what is known as an “interfering agent” or syrup solution to prevent graining. Most call for corn syrup. Today I used honey from local bee keeper, Bee Pa on Lem Turner Road. The honey imparts a complex and interesting flavor. It is especially good when it is paired with sea salt.
I’ve had a lot of input from family and friends and none of them seem to agree on what they like the best. Some people like soft caramel, some like it very chewy. Some like sea salt, some like it with a hint of rum or espresso. It looks like I have a lot more caramel making and tasting to do. Please let me know about your favorite caramel so I can incorporate it into our Sweet Pete’s caramel.
I look forward to hearing from you…my son loves all the tasting, his teeth not so much.