A question about a recipe: Firm Caramel -- for many wonderful caramel things!

I have a question about step 3 on the recipe "Firm Caramel -- for many wonderful caramel things!" from Bianca Henry. It says:

"Raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Allow to remain at a vigorous simmer, without stirring, until the mixture turns a medium amber color, approximately 15 minutes."

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Merrill Stubbs
Merrill Stubbs April 16, 2011

There's a helpful chart on the different stages of sugar syrup here: http://www.baking911.com/candy/chart.htm

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sarah k.
sarah k. April 16, 2011

Wow, that's a handy, descriptive site! When I was a kid, we would inevitably break the candy thermometers, so we had to do the water test a lot. I like to use a short, clear glass, or one of those pyrex measuring cups, so you can see what's going on when you drip the syrup into the water. And I always loved being the one to fish out the ball, so after I determined (with so much coaching from mom) what stage it was at, I got to eat the candy. The difference between hard-crack and burned is a pretty fine line, though, as I've found out from personal experience. If your pot has good heat retention, you'll want to get the syrup out of there as soon as possible.

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sarah k.
sarah k. April 16, 2011

I just went back to that table, and it sure looks like it would be harder to burn the sugar than I made it out to be! Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but it the temperature seems to go up pretty quickly.

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helicopterina
helicopterina April 16, 2011

thanks for the info. just made it and really love it...tho my pieces are more malleable than the ones you all created with bianca. but they are quite lovely to eat... will have to try again... :)

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