Ever started making caramel to find that it always ends up crystallising? I know that feeling far too well and completely understand how frustrating it can be.
So when I decided to make a Caramel Apple Cake to celebrate Bonfire Night, I sat down, did some research and decided to give it one last go. The result? Beautifully smooth, golden caramel – no lumps here!
Time to share the secret, but before we begin, here are my top-tips:
1. Use a medium-large saucepan so the sugar becomes thinly spread along the bottom. This is help the sugar to melt evenly and stop it from burning.
2. Make sure your saucepan and utensils are completely dry and free from any debris.
3. Add a few spoons of water to the sugar before putting it on the heat. The water will help prevent crystallisation.
4. Resist the urge to stir the sugar as it melts. Simply swirl the saucepan to stop it from burning.
5. The cream and butter must be at room temperature before you add that them to the melted sugar, I would recommend getting them out the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start.
Ingredients (makes enough caramel to cover an 8inch cake, or 12 cupcakes).
200g granulated sugar
4 tbsps. water
80g butter, at room temperate
120g heavy cream, at room temperature
Take the cream and butter out of the fridge and leave to get to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Add the sugar and water to a medium-large sized saucepan and stir until combined. Set the saucepan over a medium heat.
Leave the sugar to melt, do not stir the sugar. Simply swirl the saucepan until the sugar has melted and turns a light amber colour, similar to the picture below. Be patient, this can take a while!
Carefully add the butter and immediately whisk until all the butter has melted.
Now remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking constantly until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have smooth caramel.
Pour into a bowl and leave to cool and thicken for about 5 minutes.