Saturday, April 23, 2011

Burnt Sugar



If there's something that evokes fear in even experienced cooks, that's sugar. Think caramel, butterscotch, praline - all examples of recipes that take you to brink of disaster. And yet, no food creates more excitement than sugar when its burnt.

I've had a trial by fire myself. Now, after several unsuccessful attempts, I have a delicious, golden bowl of caramel sauce. Mixing sugar with water and vinegar, then boiling it until it gets to the right shade of amber, adding cream to the bubbling lava - every step in making caramel is fraught with danger.

So I'm not going to give you a recipe. I made mine without a thermometer so it's not going to be much use anyway. But I'd give you an advice. When you've poured the caramel sauce in a bowl, resist the urge to dip your finger. It's delicious but it's hot, and you'd burn yourself. Don't ask me how I know!

4 comments:

Of rainy days said...

O Gosh talk about the heartbreak of caramel, i once tried to make caramel popcorn, the utensils were a pain to clean up , and some of the caramel was badly burnt. but the joy of licking off the caramel from popcorn was divine.

btw didnt know about adding vinegar. when in the recipe do you add it, how much.. actually pls put up a recipe. i do not use a thermometer either, so it might for once make me feel like if only i used a thermometer

Simran said...

You add the vinegar at the very start, when you mix sugar and water. So basically, you mix 1/2 cup sugar with a tsp of vinegar and enough water to get the consistency of mortar. Stir until sugar dissolves, then let it boil away until the sugar turns an amber color.

Take off the heat and dump 1/4 cup cream. Put it back on low heat and stir until everything comes back together as a sauce.

Clean up's a pain but I basically boil a large pot of water and use it to wash anything that the caramel touched!

Champa said...

I have seen people making this on food network and lot of people make it without using thermometer. Looks real nice.

Srivalli said...

Looks heavenly simmi..I make for the popcorn but never really calculated the temp..