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Caramels are super gooey

I made salted caramels and while the flavor is great, it's like eating cold molasses - a major undertaking resulting in serious sticky hands. What can I do next time to make them firmer? (Or should I just give my professors this sticky mess and watch them struggle?)

asked by LucyS over 1 year ago
3 answers 923 views
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added over 1 year ago

I've had this happen before only to realize that my candy thermometer was nearly 10 degrees off. If you haven't done so, you can test its accuracy in boiling water. Good luck!

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added over 1 year ago

I had a similar problem the first time I made caramels. Like EmilyC, it was because I didn't cook the caramel long enough. Unlike her, however, in my case it was because I didn't obey my candy thermometer and took it off the stove when I thought it was done (lesson learned: always obey the candy thermometer). After a little googling I was able to recover the caramel by returning the cooled caramels to a pot and reheating them (not sure if this is the right way to do it, but I put a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan so they could dissolve rather than melt and risk burning them. All of the water boils off once the caramels have dissolved). I cooked them to the right temperature this time (it didn't take long at all), stirring constantly to keep them from burning. They turned out perfectly!
Maybe after you've checked your thermometer as EmilyC suggested you could try saving your original batch of caramels? Though watching professors struggle is always fun :)

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added over 1 year ago

Check your candy thermometer, and then toss your caramel back in the pan and bring it to the appropriate stage. You can always make them harder -- it's going back that is the difficult part!