How to make caramel
There are two classic ways of how to make caramel:
- with a small amount of water added
- without water
I would recommend making the caramel with water because as the video shows it is easier to control.
Why avoid dark caramel?
- Because it will be overpowered by the bitterness.
- Because it will harden too much.
Making praline – The shatter-bility of caramel
All caramel hardens, wether it’s a pine colour or a dark walnut colour. Once the caramel is set it will harden.
So what do I mean by darker caramel is harder?
It’s to do with how well the caramel shatters once it’s made. If making praline, the nuts are added to the caramel while it’s hot, allowed to set and then shattered, usually in a food processor. A lighter caramel will shatter better and easier into minuscules pieces. See the photos below of minute shards a light caramel breaks into:
When you break the lighter coloured caramels even with your hands, it will break into dust shards you see here.
For details on how to make praline see step-by-step photos here.
- 140g / 8 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Put the sugar and water in a non-stick pan (easier to see caramel colour). Make sure sugar is covered by the water before it starts to boil.
- Bring to the boil on a medium heat, do not touch or stir.
- Once you can spot a colour change on the side of the pan to a blond caramel colour pick up the pan and move it around for a few seconds over the heat as if toasting seeds. The patch of blond caramel colour should now be dispersed throughout the pan. Put it back on the heat for a few seconds until the caramel is just seconds before the desired colour.
- Caramel will have to be poured straight away out of the pan or else it will continue to cook and darken.