Caramel Troubleshooting

1,103
35
Joined Jun 14, 2002
I'm working on a salty brown butter style of caramel.

I've almost hit the flavor I want. It's very butterscotchy. The base tasted a little flat, so I'm thinking of upping the salt a little bit, but still under the threshold of taste. I'm also not happy with the vanilla.

It's fairly soft. Which is not bad. But it's not very cohesive, so it's not as sticky as normal caramel. I think that can be solved by decreasing the amount of invert sugar. As is, that's the not main issue. I think it will make a good candy filling.

The main problem is that it's kinda rough textured, kinda like applesauce. The milk solids start perciptating out at around 240 deg F. Not sure how to solve the problem. I'm thinking a either a reduction of the butter, addition of some lecithin, and/or hitting it with a blender to smooth it out.

The formula is very loosely based on Laiskonas' soft caramel recipe.

300g corn syrup

350g sugar

225g butter, unsalted

500g milk

50g non fat dry milk

1g salt

Vanilla

Coarse sea salt.

Dissolve the dry milk and salt in the milk. Caramelize the sugar and corn syrup. Add butter and let the mix melt and cook the butter a little. Add the milk mixture. Cook till 250 deg F. Turn off heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into mold. Let set slightly and sprinkle a little of the coarse sea salt on top.
 
1,103
35
Joined Jun 14, 2002
Here's a photo of my test batch. I was going to cut it into squares, but with its softness it worked better to scoop the portions on to the wax paper wrapper. It only stuck in the middle where it displaced the butter I used to coat the pan.

 
5,192
295
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Tin,

I'm a little curious. The proceedure seems a little unorthadox, n'est-ce pas?

Are you going for a darker coulor?

Are you using milk for cost? Just never used it, interesting. Why no scald it?

It's not grainy right? I'm sure you washed down.

If I don't have any glucose I add some honey to the sugars.

I can't rember ever doing this with caramel but have you ever thought to brown the butter?

I think that flavor profile would be great. Ya know, a little nutty.
 
1,103
35
Joined Jun 14, 2002
Tin,

I'm a little curious. The proceedure seems a little unorthadox, n'est-ce pas?

I think you mean 'non e cosi?' /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif Well, as far as I can tell, the addition of extra milk solids is unique, at least at a non industrial scale. The main method seems to be cooking the sugar and dairy all at once. The flavor for that comes from Maillard reactions between the sugars and the milk protiens. I've seen a few recipes for caramel candy that caramelize the sugar first, then add dairy. Laiskonis is one. It's the same procedure as making caramel sauce, but you take it to a higher final temp. I choose this method to add a layer of caramelization to the flavor.

Are you going for a darker coulor?

Color wasn't my goal. I was going for flavor. I took the initial caramel to a medium-light stage. I wanted to avoid any bitter notes, but now I think a little bitter might be a good addition. The extra milk solids really browned everything up too.

Are you using milk for cost? Just never used it, interesting. Why no scald it?

I didn't have any spare cream. I figured I could make up the fat content with butter. The recipe I was basing it off of, did call for heating the cream. I just put the bowl of milk over a pilot light while I was cooking the sugar to take the chill off. Scalding change the proteins that much?

It's not grainy right? I'm sure you washed down.

Nah, it's not a sugar crystalization problem. I used a lid so the condensation would wash the sides. It's all the extra protein clumping up. I just tried a piece now, and it's getting a little worse. Its still got that sorta apple sauce texture, but  you sometimes end up with tiny bits that have a curd like texture while you eat it.

If I don't have any glucose I add some honey to the sugars.

I'm not entirely sure how differently the different invert sugars will act. The original recipe called for a combination of glucose and trimoline. I was going to try to make my own invert sugar with cream of tartar, but didn't have time.

I can't rember ever doing this with caramel but have you ever thought to brown the butter?

It browned a little bit when I added it to the hot sugar. Good point though. Browned butter has a slightly different flavor.

I think that flavor profile would be great. Ya know, a little nutty.

Yeah, brown butter is my thing right now. I used to work a place that made gallons of brown butter at a time from Plugra as part of its mise. I'd sneak a little nibble of the stuff from time to time, when it was cold from the walk in. It was like candy!
Found a technique in Ideas In Food  that might work. They slowly brown powdered milk in brown butter and let it steep over night. They reheat it, drain off the excess butter and puree the stuff in the blender with some water and agave syrup (I guess corn syrup could work). They use it to flavor ice cream, among other things. I'm thinking this might solve the clumping issue. If I coagulate the protein, then bust it up. It should be smoother in the finished caramel.
 
5,423
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Best recipie I found was in Grewling's "Chocolates and confections"

I do it at least once a week.

280 gr cream (33%)

1,360 gr milk

580 gr corn syrup

690 gr sugar

cook to 112-116 depending on your desired firmness.

Nothing sticks to silicone paper.  I pour mine out on silicone paper with 1/2" s/s bars as "borders" that I got cut for me at a local welding shop. ( Matfer can go (delete) themselves with their caramel bars)

Invert sugar loses all of its properties when it is heated bove 80 C.  it does however contribute  nice colour.
 
1,103
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Joined Jun 14, 2002
Thanks for the Grewling tip. He's on my amazon wishlist now.

I'm planning on getting some silpats. I agree that matfer is a ripoff. I looked at their online rep. They wanted ~200 US$ for a set of confectionary rulers.
Invert sugar loses all of its properties when it is heated bove 80 C
/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif Is that right?
 
5,423
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
According to Wybauw, ("Fine Chocolates", #'s 1, 2 and 3)  yes.

One way of making Invert is made by "cooking" the sugars with an acid but never exceeding 80 C.
 
5,192
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
tin,

How many silpats are you looking for. We are trying to scale back storage. I have accumulated two 10x15 spaces. We started to go through them

last month. We are gathering a lot of extra pans, cookware and smallwares. It would make me happy if I could send you some pats. I came across a couple sets of rulers.

I don't know the maker but I recall them being light, like aluminum. We just had so much stuff in the wholesale kitchen before we shut it down. I will PM with a list

of everything. In the mean time PM me your address and I'll shoot some pats out to ya. It would be great for the stuff to go to someone who will use it. Speaking

of mafter, I switched to stainless for sugar maybe 8 yrs. ago and have some of those copper sugar pans from mafter if you want one. I will never use them, hate the handles

and the maintanance.

pan
 
1,103
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Joined Jun 14, 2002
woah, Panini, I'm blown away! That is very very amazingly nice of you. I'll PM you.

I was planning on eventually getting 4ea 1/2 sheetpan sizes. Seems to be the most flexible arrangement.
 
88
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Joined Jul 10, 2011
Sorry I'm late to the party..

For what it is worth, the best luck I have had for a smooth caramel is to switch it up a bit. I get the syrup to 245deg and add the cream to the pot followed by the butter. Because you are looking for that burnt butter flavor, you could try to add it already melted and browned

I've never used milk or non fat dry milk, however, if you are looking to cut back on calories, I think that the first thing I would reach for is evaporated milk, maybe try 1/2 cream and 1/2 evap. milk and pitch the dry milk in the bay :)
 
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