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Old 06-04-2007, 04:35 PM   #1
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ISO recipe/technique for glassy/crunchy caramel

How can I top ice cream with glassy caramel which is hard to touch but crunchy to eat . Does anyone have the recipe ?

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Old 12-31-2007, 02:49 PM   #2
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I think what you are describing is more of a fudge than a caramel. Fudge contains butter, which would be the ingredient I would add to prevent the crunchiness of the carmelized sugar. Add a bit of cream and you have a butterscotch, but I think then it would not really be all that hard unless chilled.
Perhaps chocolate instead of butter? However, you may end up separating the chocolate if you add it in to very hot caramel.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:29 PM   #3
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You have to cook sugar to a certain temperature to get it to the glassy hard stage. I don't know what the corret temp. Someone will be along soon who can help.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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I just re-read your post, and I misread what you wanted to know. I had thought you wanted something hard but without the crunch. My bad.

Yes, there is a certain temperature for this stage, but fortunately mother nature has a built-in device for telling us when this stage has been reached, and that is the nice brownish-red color that it turns to.

If you want to make this, all you need is a cup of sugar and about a 1/4 cup of water. Pile the sugar at the bottom of the sauce pan, and pour the water around it. Put the sauce pan on medium heat and let it do its work. The water will keep most of the sugar below the caramelization temperature, but there will be a section of sugar that will reach this stage fairly quickly. It will melt and join the other sugar, bringing it up to temperature as the water evaporates.

This is a nice, controlled way of making caramel, and the only thing you need to do is brush the sides of the sauce pan with a wet brush to get the spattered sugar back into the mix. Also, you can slosh the mix around once it is all liquid to get the temperature equalized and let it continue to the color you want.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat just before you reach that stage, though, as it will continue to cook for a minute or two afterwards.

And for the record, caramelization is actually a collective term for a number of chemical reactions that sugar undergoes at this temperature range, including the color change, so there is no one specific temperature that indicates that this has been achieved; but the range is anywhere from 350 to 375 degrees F. Incidentally, this is the reason so many things are cooked at these temperatures
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