Help! Caramels have crystalized - why?

Deep in candy making for a local fundraiser (so large quantities) and the caramels (that were then dipped in chocolate) have crystalized. Why? How do we avoid? Have successfully used this recipe many times but am wondering -- was it the Golden Syrup (mixed with corn syrup -- better overall flavor than just corn syrup)? Was it storage in a slightly humid basement closet (but all was tightly wrapped in plastic)? Or something else...???



SeaJambon December 1, 2011
Great answer - thanks!! I think we're going to go 100% corn syrup from now one (and the crystalized caramels -- still tasty, just not "right") will go in the "oops! -- our goof/your luck!" 50% off grouping...
hardlikearmour December 1, 2011
I'm suspicious it's the golden syrup. I don't think it's as inverted as the corn syrup (meaning there are more intact sucrose molecules in it, versus glucose and fructose molecules.) Table sugar is sucrose. When making caramels you want to add some other molecules to help prevent the sucrose molecules from forming a crystalline matrix. Options for doing this are adding corn syrup or adding an acid (lemon juice or cream of tartar for instance) to break the bonds between the glucose & fructose molecules in sucrose. I've made a lot of caramels w/o crystallization trouble by using both corn syrup and cream of tartar.
Niknud December 1, 2011
You had me at "crystalline matrix".... How did you get so smart about all this?!?! Is there some secret chemistry class I missed in school?
hardlikearmour December 1, 2011
LOL! I did take a fair amount of chemisty, but mostly just did a lot of research while I was figuring out how to make caramels.
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