I made sea salt caramels last night and they did not turn golden brown and were stickier than I would have liked. Where did I go wrong?

I followed the recipe exactly--however, I think the recipe left out that the sugar/corn syrup/water mixture should turn golden brown and that I need to cook it with the cream for longer if I want harder caramels.



hardlikearmour December 14, 2011
I've made a lot of caramels. I cook the sugar mixture until it's lightly caramelized - 325ish on the candy thermometer, then remove from the heat and add the cream & butter mixture. Texturally I like them best when I bring the caramel mixture to the lower end of the firm ball stage - 244-246 - but that's a personal preference. If I take them over 248 they get too hard for me.
Stephanie,Vore December 14, 2011
Here is a great recipe actually made them today and they turned out fantastic, slightly sticky but nothing too crazy... but cook them until they are a lovely golden brown then add the boiling cream carefully...
Sea Salt Caramels
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
*Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and brush or spray lightly with oil. Set aside.
*In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream, butter and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
*In a large saucepan over high heat, stir together sugar, corn syrup and water until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring (you can gently swirl the entire saucepan occasionally to ensure even heating) until mixture turns to a light golden caramel color.
*Lower heat to a simmer and very carefully pour cream mixture into large saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a temperature of 250 degrees F, or "firm ball" stage.
*Pour mixture into baking pan and allow to cool completely, about 2 hours. Half an hour after pouring, sprinkle caramel with more sea salt as desired.
*Remove caramel from baking pan by lifting the parchment paper and, using a very sharp, warm knife, cut the caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap in wax paper with twisted ends for storage...
Stephanie,Vore December 14, 2011
**i got this recipe from the tablespoon website
bigpan December 14, 2011
I think you didn't cook the sugar long enough for it to get the nice caramel color. Same as with a New Orleans roux ... you have to cook it a bit longer than you think.
sweetlolo December 14, 2011
Even if you follow a recipe exactly results can vary significantly depending on things like humidity and temperature in your kitchen - I vary my recipe about 5 degrees depending on the time of year and the weather. So you probably just needed to cook them a few more degrees. Might also matter if you measured by weight or volume since volume measures can sometimes be off.
rldougherty December 14, 2011
Do you have a recipe? I no longer trust the one I used. It told me to add the cream mixture as soon as it hit 248 degrees, which is where I went wrong. I want to have these perfect for Christmas eve. Thankfully the ingredients are cheap.
Stephanie,Vore December 14, 2011
See my answer to this post... :) enjoy!
Homemadecornbread December 14, 2011
Indeed, it does sound like the sugar mixture should have been cooked longer. That should be the answer to both the issues. I made them a few months ago for some friends and they loved them - wrapped 'em individually in little squares of waxed paper and twisted the ends - they looked as good as they tasted. Definitely worth perfecting.
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