The sticky, sweet caramel sauce is our forever favourite. However, caramelisation shouldn’t be limited to just that! Try out these common ingredients you should be caramelising at home to intensify the flavour and take your culinary skills to a new level.
First Things First
Caramelisation is the browning of sugar that gives a nutty flavour and brown colour synonymous with caramel. The process is acutely temperature dependent and applied in a number of dishes including the classics like creme brûlée and caramel custard.
Caramelised pineapple is the very definition of sweet and sour perfection. Whether you serve it as a dessert with yoghurt or as a side dish at a barbecue party, it’s delicious no matter what.
Slice the pineapple in circles after peeling. Heat some butter in a pan and place the pineapple slices in it, after coating with sugar. Make sure the sugar is evenly coated to avoid burning. Cook on high heat until it gets a nice golden brown colour. Remove from heat and serve.
Caramelising onions make for a delicious canapé on top of toast or garnish for pulao. The caramelisation releases the sweetness from onions and takes away their strong pungent flavour.
Add butter and olive oil in a shallow flat pan and let it melt at medium heat. Add the onions and leave them until they start tenderising, without increasing the heat. Add a pinch of brown sugar. Stir every 5-10 mins. It will take about 1 hour for 3-4 onions to caramelise completely. Reduce the heat after initial 20 mins and deglaze the pan with wine or water. Try this recipe here.
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If you don’t like walnuts because of their bitter taste, caramelising them might just change your mind.
Simply add chopped or whole nuts, butter and sugar in a pan. Stir constantly to ensure a nice even coating. Once the sugar has completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container and use when needed.
Use caramelised apples as a topping for your waffles or filling for a pie. You can cook these for breakfast or at night to top a scoop of ice cream. Same goes for bananas.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat and add sugar from top. Once it starts to form a syrup, mix the chopped apples. Cook until brown and tender. For the bananas, put them in a pan of melted butter and and cook like you would the onions.
5. White Chocolate
Yes, caramelised white chocolate is a real thing! A lesser known ingredient for caramelisation at home, we ensure it will not disappoint.
Chop a few white chocolate bars and spread on a sheet pan. Melt in the oven for 10 mins at 260 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the pan and spread the chocolate evenly using a spatula or palatte knife. Once it’s spread, bake the chocolate until it reaches a brown colour, scraping it evenly every 10 mins. Add a pinch of salt according to taste.
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