Caramel wont work!?? Sugar just keeps drying out and turning to dust just after boiling, HELP this has never happened before?!?

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RespectThePastry
RespectThePastry September 4, 2011

Are you stirring your caramel. DO NOT STIR. Just swirl the caramel and go very slowly with the heat level. Also make sure no crystals are on the sides of your pan. Dip a brush in water and wipe those down if you see any form.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour September 4, 2011

I take it your sugar is crystallizing. In addition to RTPs suggestions you may want to add an agent to invert some of the sugar like cream of tartar or add some corn syrup. With just sugar you are using only sucrose molecules which like to make a crystalline matrix, if you invert (i.e. break) some of the sucrose molecules into glucose and fructose molecules or add the glucose/fructose molecules it makes it more difficult for the sucrose molecules to bind together into crystals.

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boulangere
boulangere September 4, 2011

I agree with RTP. Your caramel is crystalizing. Add a touch of Karo syryp, or even some cream of tartar dissolved in a little water, and don't stir once you put it on the heat. When washing down crystals from the side of the pan, try not to have your brush too wet or you'll add enough water that it will just take longer to cook down. Good luck and persevere!

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boulangere
boulangere September 4, 2011

LOL! We must have been writing at the same moment, hla.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour September 4, 2011

Yep! Great minds think alike.

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Sally
Sally September 4, 2011

For 1 cup sugar, rub in 1 teaspoon lemon juice with your fingers (no water) until the sugar is saturated. Stir occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon until the sugar liquifies. Swirl the pan (no need to stir once it is boiling) until it and turns a pretty caramel color. The acid from the lemon keeps it from crystallizing (and it's probably something you have in your fridge).

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