I have seen 6 different recipes, all with different procedures. I need a simple caramel to add to my flan. Do I need a candy thermometer? What is the right temperature at which to stop the cooking? Don't need a caramel sauce, just simple caramel.
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Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.
This is for the caramel at the bottom of the pan, before you pour the custard over, correct? I do this all the time .... ne recipe needed. Put a good amount of sugar, a heaping cup, into a small saucepan with a heavy bottom. Add just enough water to wet down the edges (maybe 2-3 tbs) and put it over medium high heat. LEAVE IT ALONE until the edges start to turn golden. Once it starts to turn, stir non-stop until you get a deep caramel color BUT - stop one shade lighter than you actually want as it will continue to brown a bit. Pour that into the pan (I use a pyrex loaf pan) and sprinkle spices on the hot sugar if you want - I use cinnamon, nutmeg, sometime coconut .... then let it set before you pour the custard on top of it. That's it!
Yes thank you. Is there a way to know through a thermometer what temperature it should stop cooking at? I have tried just like you say but it always turns out too bitter. May be I need to back off/turn off the minute it turns gold? Thank for the help.
I never take the temp but I do start stirring as soon as I see color, and yeah you might want to back the temp down too. I am sure there IS a proper temp, I just go by feel though. Make sure not to let it go black at all, or smoke ... and practice a lot!