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Old 11-16-2006, 05:36 PM   #1
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Question Caramel and chocolate sauce?


As the holidays approach (yikes!) I find that I'd like to give more homemade items this year.

Is it possible to can a homemade caramel sauce? It takes forever to make, but it tastes so much better than storebought.

I'm leaning towards no, as it has butter and cream in it, but I figured I'd ask!


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Old 11-17-2006, 10:56 AM   #2
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Darn fine question Dazie. I don't know the answer. I would imagine you could do it in a pressure canner to be safe. I read something about jams and other things with high sugar content inhibiting bacterial growth recently. It indicated that you didn't need to process those things as you would others. Let me see if I can find that article for you.

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Old 11-17-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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You should be able to. I would give it a try. I would do what Alix suggested just to be on the safe side. I would only do a small portion at first though to see if it comes out right.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:55 PM   #4
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Just refrigerate it--and if you give it as a gift, put those instructions on it.
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:43 PM   #5
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Excellent. Perhaps I'll give it a shot tomorrow. I have some pint jars leftover from jalapeno pepper pickling, they should be a good size to start with.

Thank you!
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:21 AM   #6
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No need for a pressure canner or refrigeration for a caramel sauce. Sugar controls moisture activity. It binds 'free' water molecules. You can still have a thick liquid syrup, but as far as bacteria are concerned, they have no accessible water to consume/survive on.

Just ponder the shelf life of honey, maple syrup or corn syrup. They're practically immortal. Cream goes bad, as does butter, but when you add sugar to the equation, it's a whole different ball game. Follow your regular canning procedures and you'll have a syrup that will last for years at room temp.

If you feel compelled to play it on the safe side, make the caramel syrup a little bit thick- maybe something that's spoonable at room temp but is pourable with a little heat (package in a microwavable glass jar).

A caramel sauce is a piece of cake, but a chocolate sauce might get tricky. Chocolate has volatile flavor compounds that are lost at high temps and it has a tendency to scorch. I'm not sure you'd want to boil a chocolate sauce. Without boiling temps, I don't think traditional canning will be possible. Maybe the chocolate sauce could be given with instructions to refrigerate.
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Old 11-19-2006, 05:21 AM   #7
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I think there may be a subtle difference here--IF you do it properly.
Yes, jams and jellies do not need to be heat processed (although many still do) because you put the HOT jelly that is essentially sterile into very clean if not sterile jars and put a lid on it which seals it. If the seal is good (the lids have a hollow sound, not a "pop" when ticked with your fingernail) these can be stored on the shelf quite safely. If the seal is not good, the jam may be subject to mold--although it won't really "spoil". This is true of syrups, etc. also, as has been mentioned. It is the concentrate of sugar that is the preservative--bacterial cells cannot metabolize in high salt or sugar concentrations--hence the preservative qualities of these entities.
And actually I believe the same to be true of chocolate sauce. It doesn't even need to be brought to a scorch temp.
I would wonder if caramel sauce can be brought to a sufficient temp however, without curdling the cream (or maybe this doesn't have cream).

In any case, to the original poster, if you do try this, report back for sure. But DO boil your jars and jar tops for at least 20 minutes before filling them. Then fill to the tippy top with hot liquid, cap and invert the jars to further "sterilize" the tops.
I am sure it is intuitive, but after opening, they should be refrigerated from a home canned souce.
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Old 11-25-2006, 06:38 AM   #8
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Exclamation I think refrigeration is the way to be safe

I was searching online to find out the same information. I found some recipes from Martha Stewart Living for Chocolate and Butterscotch sauce. The magz recommends refrigeration for up to 1 week.I wanted to give as gifts and wanted to start asap and thought of canning. I found this information from the web site which is sited in the article:

(PS I think the same would go for caramel sauce. The web site offers advice to only use tested recipes when canning. I think that is good advice because you don't want to give a gift that is potentially dangerous.)

Canning Chocolate Sauces Unsafe

Brian A. Nummer, Ph.D.
National Center for Home Food Preservation
July 2003
Numerous recipes for chocolate sauces circulate on the internet and in newsgroups. Chocolate sauces are low acid recipes and are a risk for botulism food poisoning. Therefore any recipes that use the boiling water canning process are especially at risk. Furthermore, there are no science-based, tested recipes for chocolate sauces utilizing the pressure canning process in either the “USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning” (1994), the University of Georgia’s “So Easy to Preserve” (1999), or in publications from land grant University partners in the Cooperative Extension System.
Instead of canning, freeze your chocolate sauce recipe
Freezer Chocolate Fudge Sauce
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt margarine in the top of a double boiler. Add chocolate and melt, while constantly stirring. Add sugar gradually, ¼ cup at a time, while stirring. Then add salt. Next, stir milk in gradually and finally add the vanilla. Cook until desired thickness – approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Pour sauce into a clean, warm, wide-mouth quart jar or similar freezer-safe container(s). Allow the sauce to cool at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Seal and freeze.
The sauce should remain soft enough to spoon out portions while frozen.
Works Cited

Cooperative Extension Service. 1999. "So Easy To Preserve," 4th ed. Bulletin 989. The University of Georgia.
USDA. 1994. Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture Information Bulletin No.539. Washington, DC: CSREES-U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 00-51110-9762.
Document Use:
Permission is granted to reproduce these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of reproduction) provided the authors and the University of Georgia receive acknowledgment and this notice is included:
Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia. B.A. Nummer. 2003. Canning Chocolate Sauces Unsafe. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service.
References to commercials products, services, and information is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the University of Georgia, U.S. Department of Agriculture and supporting organizations is implied. This information is provided for the educational information and convenience of the reader.
The University of Georgia and Ft. Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating. The Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences offers educational programs, assistance and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. An Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Organization Committed to a Diverse Work Force.

National Center for Home Food Preservation
208 Hoke Smith Annex
The University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-4356

Tel: (706) 542-3773
Fax: (706) 542-1979
Email: nchfp@uga.edu
Web: http://www.homefoodpreservation.com
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:32 PM   #9
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Dazie welcome to DC. I see no problem with putting it in the refrigerator with directions on it. It is great for gifts and I am sure that all your friends will enjoy it.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:55 PM   #10
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canning chocolate sauce

This issue of botulisium poisoning when canning chocolate sauce is a little disheartening. I was planning on doing just that for Christmas presents this year. I have been using a recipe from the Westinghouse Microwave cook book that actually boils the sauce. I find it hard to believe that a boiled sauce in a boiling water canning bath would not kill everything in it. However, prudence being the better part of valor, I do not want to risk making my friends sick. Is there or has there been anymore discussion of canning chocolate sauce? How do the manufacturers that sell chocolate sauce in the stores do it?

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