Thoughts on Caramel

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by RedShoe, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. RedShoe

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of cakes I top with caramel, but have struck out repeatedly making my own caramel (comes out gritty and dull). As simple of a process as it is, i just can't get it right! So i've resorted to using a pre-made caramel dip (for apples, in the produce dept) that i warm and add brown sugar, butter and the liquor of the moment (usually cognac). it pours beautifully, tastes great and has amazing shine! Problem is it's expensive for the amount of cakes that i need it for. Can any of you recommend a pre-made caramel i can find in bulk that's good?
     

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
    RedShoe, Dec 28, 2017
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  2. RedShoe

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had great luck with caramel either, though I do want to try again with my new-ish All-Clad saucepan. Could you substitute dulce de leche, made from sweetened condensed milk?

    There are a lot of people who show online how to cook the Leche in the sealed can, but this is generally not safe due to the lining in the cans. Get some canning jars (inexpensive), transfer the s. c. milk into jars, and place the closed jars in your slow cooker. Add water to just below the rims of the lids, and cook on low. At 4 hours in 2 small jars, mine weren't dark enough for me, so I did the whole 7. It is thick so you might have to loosen up a bit depending on the consistency. And I don't think you can get a hard caramel shell this way.
     
    Apocalypso, Dec 29, 2017
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  3. RedShoe

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    i've seen the slow cooker in a can version several times and it makes me nervous! I have a set of Ball jars i could try this with. only issue is i'm never home 7 straight hours unless i'm asleep... How quickly does the water evaporate such that it would need to be refilled?
     
    RedShoe, Dec 29, 2017
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  4. RedShoe

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    The water barely evaporated at all -- and since there's so much of it, it won't even come close to going dry. I left mine running overnight, and set an alarm to get up and check on it so that it wouldn't stay on warm afterwards (I turned it off manually.) Yes, between the lining of the cans leeching chemicals when heated, and the potential for explosion, I didn't even try the cans.

    I do wonder whether you could do it on high for a shorter time. And, oops, I think this was my inspiration, and it actually says 6-8 for a sauce-like consistency, and 10 for the thicker pudding-like consistency. I don't know where I got 4-7... https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/dulce-de-leche/ and this one says 8-12!
     
    Apocalypso, Dec 29, 2017
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  5. RedShoe

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    feeling adventurous and am going to try this tonight! thanks for the link!
     
    RedShoe, Dec 29, 2017
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  6. RedShoe

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    I was looking around and found an article on Serious Eats where the author experiments with four different ways to make dulce de leche. One is making it from scratch (which looks very simple, but requires a bit of time) and the other three use condensed milk (although the second method, using the microwave, was not successful at all). It looks like the simplest would be the oven method (last one), where the condensed milk is cooked in the oven for about an hour. Asides from the prep (he uses a bain marie for this one), it seems to be a set it and forget it until the timer goes off :D

    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/12/dulce-de-leche-recipe.html
     
    ninamari, Dec 30, 2017
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  7. RedShoe

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I couldn't resit and I tried making dulce de leche in the oven. I have to say, I am very pleasantly surprised! I left it in the oven for an hour and a half (instead of the one hour from the article) and it came out really good. Once it came out, I let it cool for about 10 minutes before I drizzled some of it over a cake.
     

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    ninamari, Dec 31, 2017
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  8. RedShoe

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Yummy! I'm glad you found a method that works well and took less time than the slow cooker.
     
    Apocalypso, Dec 31, 2017
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  9. RedShoe

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    RedShoe, Jan 2, 2018
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