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Old 04-16-2005, 02:05 PM   #1
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Smile Why is my caramel sauce grainy?

I just made good old caramel sauce from sugar, creme and a bit of butter and vanilla...after a try or two I got the caramelizing down... The color is great and the flavor good--rich and deep. The trouble is that as it cools it isn't that smooth to taste..has a bit of a grainy consistency--how do I fix this--do I need more butter or creme...help...

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Old 04-16-2005, 04:08 PM   #2
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I'm no candy expert, so I hope someone comes round quickly to help you out. It can be a bit quiet here on weekends so be patient. I just wanted to welcome you to the boards. Hope you enjoy it around here.
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:46 PM   #3
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Plain sugar, or sucrose, crystalizes as it cools. It is a real challenge to avoid this problem. Most recipes I know for caranel add a bit of corn syrup. The corn syrup remains smooth and syrupy and helps keep the sucrose from crystalizing.

Oh, and you must scrape the syrup from the pan sides to prevent them from overcooking and crystallizing as well.

Hope this helps you.

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Old 04-17-2005, 04:11 AM   #4
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ALso, not cooking long enough, or cooking at too high a heat can cause the crystallization.
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:11 AM   #5
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While making the sugar caramel brush the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water. I have also heard that a little lemon juice will also help stop crystalisation.
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:57 PM   #6
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Humm ... several things can cause the problem - as others have noted.

(1) Temperature ... either undercooked (below 234-F/112-C) or overcooked (above 240-F/115-C). This is a very small window ... you can't just eyeball it ... you need a good candy thermometer.

(2) One undissolved sugar crystal can be the seed to start a recrystalization chain reaction. Don't know if you're using the dry (melting the sugar without added water) or the wet (disolving the sugar in water) method ... but as it cooks and bubbles up - you can get a stray sugar crystal on the side of the pan that can then fall back into the mix when you add the cream and butter. You have a couple of options: (1) as Haggis suggested, keep brushing the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, and keep a lid on the pot when it first starts to boil for about the first 3 minutes or so, so that any crystals will dissolve and go back into the mix before it reaches caramel temp, or (2) at the beginning when you start to heat the sugar add (a) lemon juice or (b) corn syrup.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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Grainy Caramel Sauce...my fix.

I can't explain the science of it but I notice that when I cook something like this, I get better and creamier results if I turn down the temp a little and let it take it's time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pattycake
I just made good old caramel sauce from sugar, creme and a bit of butter and vanilla...after a try or two I got the caramelizing down... The color is great and the flavor good--rich and deep. The trouble is that as it cools it isn't that smooth to taste..has a bit of a grainy consistency--how do I fix this--do I need more butter or creme...help...
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:42 PM   #8
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Definitely keep the cooking temperature fairly slow. It takes longer, and your arm aches from stirring, but you get better caramel!

Also, when pouring out, DO NOT scrape the sides! Empty the pan as quickly as possible, but without scraping it out. It's those scrapings which crystallise, and spoil the end-product nby giving it that graininess.
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:06 AM   #9
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caramel

did you use a dark sugar, (raw) and did you stir after it came to the boil, i found that spoilt the whole deal, but the sugar does make a difference.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:10 AM   #10
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Definitely reduce the heat, don't stop stirring for a second, don't scrape down the sides and when done, pour out REALLY QUICKLY and don't scrape out the saucepan. And add a drop or two of glycerine!
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