How to make caramel to enrich pudding and panna cotta or to chew, in the solid caramel version (hard or soft).
The caramel it often represents the icing on the cake of many culinary preparations, from the more traditional ones such as panna cotta, to the slightly more "extravagant" and salty recipes such as caramelized popcorn. In this regard we will illustrate you how to make homemade caramel, both the harder (dry), and the soft, diluted with water, following our step by step recipe. In the lower part of the article we will see the recipe for liquid caramel, or rather, thehomemade caramel topping, to be used to garnish panna cotta and pudding.
How to make dry (hard) caramel
This recipe requires a lot of skill, so if you are new to the kitchen, better opt for the soft caramel or water caramel version: it becomes the same solid, and therefore also excellent for decorations.
Everything you need to prepare hard (dry) caramel
- Granulated sugar to taste
- Steel saucepan with double bottom
- Metal spoon
- Kitchen thermometer
- Put the saucepan over medium-low heat and add a tablespoon of granulated sugar then stir until the sugar has completely dissolved
- Add another tablespoon of sugar and continue mixing: you will have to continue like this until you have obtained the desired consistency.
How to make water caramel
For this recipe it is important to pay close attention to the temperatures.
- 350 grams of granulated sugar
- 150 grams of water
- Small saucepan with double bottom
- Metal spoon
- Kitchen thermometer
- Put the saucepan over medium-low heat
- Add the sugar then pour in the water and mix
- Bring the mixture to a boil and wait for the water to evaporate
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and put it in a bain-marie in water and ice for a few minutes, in order to stop cooking.
PLEASE NOTE: according to the result we want to obtain, it will be important to adjust the temperature well. The pastry chefs recommend keeping it around 156-165 degrees to have a caramel blonde and from delicate flavor; while maintaining around 166-175 degrees for a brown caramel with a stronger flavor.
Water caramel can be used to create pretty decorations: just take the caramel and draw your decoration on a sheet of parchment paper; once cooled, it will be ready to be used.
To get asoft caramel, during cooking, add more hot water.
Soft caramel: how to make toffee at home
If you don't want asoft caramelpure or you are disappointed by the previous recipe, you should try the recipe for homemade toffee. In this case, thesoft caramelit is obtained by adding cream and not just plain water!
Here are the ingredients:
- 100 gr of white sugar
- 100 grams of brown sugar
- 100 ml of fresh cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- Silicone molds
Here's how to do thehomemade caramel.
- In a saucepan, melt the 200 grams of sugar (white and brown). Melt the sugar over a very low heat, never stirring until it is completely dissolved. Continue cooking.
- In a separate saucepan, bring the cream to a boil with half the vanilla bean.
- Once the sugar is caramelized, add the cream and mix vigorously. Stir the mixture for 5 minutes over low heat.
- Fill silicone molds of the desired shape. Place the molds in the fridge for at least 2 - 3 hours.
- After the time has elapsed, remove thesoft caramel toffeefrom the freezer and serve at room temperature.
Note on the ingredients to use to make soft caramel
When it comes to culinary skills, 50% of the goodness is in the hands of those who work in the kitchen and the remaining 50% is in the hands of the quality of the ingredients used. This is why it is important to leave notes on the ingredients to choose.
The cream must be purchased strictly in the departmentfridgeof the supermarket and not among the long-life products!
Also beware of vanilla, choose high quality pods because only those can really make a difference in terms of aroma! On Amazon, a jar of vanilla pods from Madagascar (of excellent quality) you buy with 19.90 euros with free shipping. For all the info I invite you to visit the official Amazon page: Madagascar vanilla.
Choose brown sugar (real cane sugar) and not granulated sugar and then colored…! Always be careful to read the label.
How to make caramel sauce for panna cotta and pudding
This recipe is very suitable to garnish panna cotta, pudding or to reinforce the taste of ice cream and / or fruit.
For the preparation you can follow one of the two procedures described above and then, once the desired color is reached, you must add another 150 grams of hot water, mix, and leave to boil until the foam is completely gone.