The luscious caramel sauce is one of the best things to eat. Making it? Not so much! Caramelising sugar is no easy feat. The technicalities are too many and chances of something going wrong, way too high. So, next time you decide to take up this Herculean task, keep these tricks in mind!
1. Heating Sugar
Heating sugar alone is never easy and it increases the chances of burning. Add water to avoid such a disaster. For every 1 and 1/2 cup of sugar, pour in 1/2 cup of water. Once the sugar melts, it will start bubbling and reach a golden hue slowly.
2. Heavy Pan & Medium Heat
Use a heavy, deep pan to keep the temperature consistent throughout the cooking process on medium heat. Moving the pan too much will also distribute the heat unevenly and burn the sugar in some portions giving that smoked flavour, forcing you to restart the process.
3. Never Whisk Or Scrape The Sides
Once the sugar has completely melted, it is of utmost importance that you DO NOT whisk the syrup or scrape the sides. It will cause the sugar to crystallise which will not dissolve even upon further heating. Until the sugar has dissolved in water, mix at consistent speed using a whisk or spatula.
4. Watch Like A Hawk
Sugar goes from transparent to caramelised within a short span, so it’s extremely important to keep an eye on the pot. Once it starts bubbling, it will slowly reach a beautiful deep amber colour. Patience is key here. If you remove it too early it wouldn’t be caramelised and if you leave it too long it will be burned, so watch the pot till it reaches the right colour and trust your instinct.
5. Heat The Cream
Pouring sugar in a cold bowl of cream will cause it to seize. Heat the cream and butter until it starts boiling, before mixing in with sugar. Both the ingredients should be around the same temperature to ensure a smooth luscious caramel sauce.
6. Whisk Quickly
While pouring the sugar in cream, keep whisking constantly and quickly to avoid formation of lumps. If you are making salted caramel, sprinkle sea salt in the sugar syrup after removing from heat.