Invert sugar syrup and its uses.

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by tralfaz, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    Hi there.  I am getting ready to make a large batch of soft caramels.  A lot of people are avoiding corn syrup these days and I have always used it in my caramels.  Does anyone have experience making caramel without corn syrup (or honey, maple syrup, golden syrup)?  A few recipes online just don't use it.  They use lemon juice or cream of tartar.  Would making invert sugar syrup work OK?  It seems silly boiling a sugar syrup to add to a caramel.

    Anyone have experience making shelf stable caramels without corn syrup?  I'm a little concerned about crystallization because I am in a damp climate and have learned to  wrap or enrobe immediately to avoid crystallizing.
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    You need a "doctor" to prevent the caramel from crystalizing within a few days, no doctor, and its guaranteed to crysatalize, doesn't mater if you enrobe it in couverture or vacuum pack it. Corn syrup s ideal, but honey, mollases, or even cream of tartar will also work. Honey is a form of invert sugar, it is expensive, but you also have bragging rights if you use it. Maple sugar is waaaaay to expensive to use, and the flavour is gone by the time the caramel is done. There are recipies for making invert sugar, Wybauw has one in his 2 or 3rd book.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    Thanks for the response.  My go to recipe has LOTS if corn syrup, so honey and molasses might flavor it too much.  I might do a small test batch with my own invert sugar syrup and see what happens.
     
  4. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Yeah, you can do that. Remeber you need at least 40% of the entire sweetner to be some kind of a doctoring agent. Mollases is waay too strong and will overwhelm the caramel flavour. Honey will loose its flavour after 110 c, but will retain its doctoring properties.

    A good book to read is Peter Grewlings"Chocolates and confections", he has an entire chapter dedicated to caramels.
     
  5. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    My test batch crystallized (but the invert syrup still looks great!!!).  I didn't think to look in Grewling.  I'll read him and decide.  Maybe I'll stay with old reliable corn syrup.
     
  6. rlyv

    rlyv

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    Also, keep in mind corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are two different things. Corn syrup is just sugar, in a different form. If you eat sugar, it's not going to be any different. HFCS has been changed enzymatically, and since it's used in so many commercial products, that's the concern. It's causing over consumption of sugar.
    I use corn syrup or glucose in all my caramels, and have no problem with it. Sometimes I sub about 1/3 honey in the recipe.
    Greweling's books can give you more technical info if needed.
     
  7. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Eh, no corn syrup is not "just sugar", a.k.a. sucrose.

    Corn syrup will never crystalize, whereas saturated and supersaturated sugar syrups will. It is because of this specifically that corn syrup is addec to caramels to prvent crystalization.
     
  8. rlyv

    rlyv

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    I know the difference between table sugar (sucrose), glucose and fructose. Corn syrup, being an invert sugar, won't crystallize. No problem, that's why I use it.
    My point is that if you eat sugar, eating corn syrup is no different. People should worry about their overall consumption of any sugar if they eat too much. Eating a couple of caramels or pate de fruit that is made with glucose or corn syrup around the holidays shouldn't be the issue.
    And thinking agave is a healthier choice, it's actually higher is fructose that HFCS, depending on the processing.
     
  9. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    I'm in a small, retired-hippy, organic tourist town and I keep running into people who are convinced corn syrup will give them diabetes and GMO corn will poison them.  HOWEVER, most people eating candy aren't going to be concerned with a little ordinary corn syrup (although, you'd be surprised.).  I realize I'm pandering to people's food fears.  It's a trade off like all aspects of the food biz, giving the customers what they want vs. doing what you want to do.  Since I'm in a small town and I know most of these people by name so I feel some obligation to cater to their whims.

    That said, I suppose using some of these ingredients gives a certain forbidden mystique (like absinthe and cigars).  Maybe I should look into other forbidden ingredients.  Fugu truffles anyone?

    Anyway, the first test batch was a bust, I've got another batch cooling with cream of tartar.  We'll see.  Funny, Greweling mentions cream of tartar a few times but I couldn't find any of his recipes using it. 

    But like I said, I'm happy with my old recipe (I can't get glucose syrup where I live and corn syrup works just fine).
     
  10. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    My second test batch with cream of tartar worked just fine, no crystallizing.  I replaced the corn syrup with 2/3 the amount of table sugar and added a small amount of c of t.  Everything went as usual.  I will say that the c of t gave a very slight tartness to the batch, not unpleasant.  As an experiment I reboiled the crystallized batch with the same amount of c of t and 4 hours later no sign of crystallizing (although I'll keep checking for the next 24 hours.).

    Funny thing, I found a few recipes for caramel sauces that used c of t but it took me some time to find a soft caramel recipe that used c of t.  Anyway I'll decide in a day or so if I'll actually use it.  Like I said, the flavor isn't unpleasant but I'm not sure if I want it.  I'll try eating it with walnuts and see how noticeable the taste is.
     
  11. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Hmm, interesting. Never used c.o.t. in caramel before. Wonder if it would work out cheaper than corn syrup in the batch cost.....
     
  12. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    My recipe I subbed 2/3 cup sugar (135 gm) for 1 cup corn syrup (300 gm).

    No crystallization 13 hours later.  I tasted it with walnuts and the tartness wasn't noticeable.   The tartness wouldn't be noticeable in a fruit flavored caramel.  In plain caramel might be, but not unpleasant.  I haven't tasted it with chocolate yet.
     
  13. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    Two days after:  I loosely wrapped my slabs of caramel.  I can detect a very slight texture at the edges of the caramel, but when I chew a piece it retains a pleasant, soft, chewy texture.  My guess is that the c.o.t. retards the crystallization.  My humid climate causes the edges exposed to air to start forming crystals, but the c.o.t. slows down the process (even with corn syrup, a whole batch could easily crystallize in 2 days.). 

    I'll make a full batch and dip the pieces today.  I'll report back in a few days with the results.
     
  14. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    A food chemist may be able to double-check me on this, but I always thought the cream of tartar and/or fruit acid was to induce the convention of regular sugar to invert sugar during the cooking of the candy... as opposed to being some other sort of anti-crystallization agent. As opposed to a lot of invert sugar in the ingredients.

    Also one of my beliefs in candy making is that careful control of stray sugar crystals and temperature measurement are two other of the critical aspects for preventing crystalization.

    With the controls you are putting in place, it appears that you doing good things that bring you closer and close to perfection!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
    cookie1801 likes this.
  15. tralfaz

    tralfaz

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    Long story short, the big batch crystallized and I went back to my old corn syrup recipe.  I may keep trying over the next few months to figure this out.
     
  16. cookie1801

    cookie1801

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    We always used a mix of honey and cane syrup. I don't know if that would help, but there are some lighter versions of cane syrups available now. Agave is even higher in fructose than corn syrup. Not necessarily as healthy as I thought.