Caramel

Caramel

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The familiar flavour of caramel results when sugar is cooked long enough to form a rich golden-brown syrup. It is used in cakes, sauces and puddings, to line moulds for creams and custards, and to colour Parisian natural extract. It is also used to make a clear brittle topping, for profiteroles and cakes such as Gâteau St Honoré.

To caramelise: This means to dissolve sugar slowly and boil steadily without stirring until a dark brown colour. Put 220 g sugar and 125 ml water in a small saucepan and stir over gentle heat, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook quickly without stirring, until golden-brown. Dip pan in cold water (it will make a loud hissing noise but there’s no need for alarm) to prevent caramel from getting darker.

Caramel syrup: This syrup, used to flavour cakes and biscuits, keeps indefinitely if stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Gently melt 220 g sugar in a heavy-based pan until golden. When bubbles appear over the whole surface, remove from heat and very slowly pour in 250 ml boiling water. Cool. Makes 375 ml.

Ingredients

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see method for ingredients

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