What's the secret to making caramel from condensed milk?

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Soliloquy, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Well-Known Member

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    I've heard from more than one source that an easy way to make caramel sauce is to just boil an entire can of condensed milk, but I haven't had success with that method. The first time my family tried it, I think the issue was that whoever started it had left it unattended and the water boiled away. The second time (I forget how long ago this all was) I think the can had burst open. Clearly we're doing something wrong here. I'd appreciate it if someone could explain the entire procedure, for instance is there any particular brand of condensed milk I should use? (I'm in the U.S.) Should the label be removed? How big of a pot should it go into, and what should the water level be? How long should it boil, and at what temperature? How long should it cool? Etc. etc. etc., spare no detail please!
     
    Soliloquy, Jul 25, 2013
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    ACSAPA Well-Known Member

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    All the directions for making caramel out of condensed milk say to keep the can completely covered in water at all times. The water level should be 4 inches above the can. My grandmother always took the label off.
    If the water level is 4 inches above the can, the can won't explode.
     
    ACSAPA, Jul 26, 2013
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  3. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Well-Known Member

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    Do you keep a lid on the pot? How long should it boil? Is it ok to lie the can down or should it be standing up?
     
    Soliloquy, Jul 26, 2013
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  4. Soliloquy

    ACSAPA Well-Known Member

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    The can should be lying on its side and you don't put a lid on the pot. There are differing opinions over whether you should boil it for 3 hours or 8 hours.
    My grandmother did 3 hours. If the water starts getting below the can level, add more water.
    The can has to be covered in water or it'll explode. Do not open the can while it's still hot, let it rest.
     
    ACSAPA, Jul 29, 2013
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  5. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Well-Known Member

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    I think we'll try the 3 hour version first, less chance of screwing it up! About how often do you have to add water?
     
    Soliloquy, Jul 29, 2013
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  6. Soliloquy

    ACSAPA Well-Known Member

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    You have to come back and keep checking. When that water starts to boil down and you can see that the can isn't going to be covered, you should top it off. Keeping the can covered with water keeps it from bursting.
     
    ACSAPA, Jul 31, 2013
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  7. Soliloquy

    sweetkymom Well-Known Member

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    I've read many different versions on how to make this. It's peaked my interest in wanting to make some myself just to see if I can actually do it. If I did make it, I could use it on a caramel cake.
     
    sweetkymom, Apr 9, 2014
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    torreyy Well-Known Member

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    Be certain each time you add more water you add HOT water. This will keep your 'caramel' consistent. Otherwise its like starting then stopping and starting all over again. I don't know if it needs to be any particular brand, as I have used at least three different brands- just depends on what was on sale and what's on hand when I need them.
     
    torreyy, May 7, 2014
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  9. Soliloquy

    JGPangi Well-Known Member

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    The pastry chefs at the hotel I used to work at usually just put the cans into the bain-marie for 6 hours. I didn't know people made it that way at home too. I usually go the route of browning butter and sugar in a sauce pot before adding evaporated milk. Same flavor to me, and less time on the stove.
     
    JGPangi, May 10, 2014
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  10. Soliloquy

    Tina Nord Well-Known Member

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    I never realized you could make caramel sauce that way, how easy! Just to make sure I understand this right, remive the label from the can and boil it in water for 3 hours on its side, and just make sure the can is submergedmore than 4 inches?
     
    Tina Nord, Nov 28, 2014
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