Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let's Talk...

I was at my friends house the other day and saw this gorgeously cut up cubed caramels.  I thought to myself, "I should make those, mmmmm, and dip them in chocolate."
On the way home I bought some heavy whipping cream, called my mom for advice and got to it.  
I've always heard that candy making is a tough business, but hoped it would just happen to work perfectly for me.  ha ha. ha hahaha.  
Burned caramel.  Make that burned toffee.
Let's try that again.  
I had to pick Isaac up from a friends house, or I wouldn't have gone out in the snow (4+ inches on top of the 17" from last week).  I dragged/drug him to Rainbow foods and bought my second set of cream.  At least it was on sale for $2.  
So I called my Mom and found out that you should never use a stainless steal pan for making candy because it gets hot spots.  Okie dokie then.
After I (supposedly) got the kiddos in bed, I set out on making caramel round #2.  
See where this is going?
Oh my goodness!  It didn't burn!  The color was a rich....caramel color and looked fantastic!  Got the temperature up to soft ball and everything.  I'm such a big girl!  It only took two tries and I'm awesome.  I can't wait to dip these babies in some chocolate!
haha. hahahahaha.
Next morning, my caramel, upon inspection is toffee yet again, but at least not burned.
I called my mom feeling like a huge disappointment, but she had a remedy.
Once I get the caramel out of the pan, warm it back up with 1/2 cup milk until it gets to soft ball.  Oh wait a minute.  What is this about your thermometer?  
We do a boiling water test and find out that my two thermometers read waayyyy different.  So, I learned another lesson:   do not trust thermometers.
I set out to fix my second batch, which was nice because I had forgotten to put in vanilla and salt :)
I thought it would be interesting to use both of my thermometers to see what the difference was.  Twenty to 30 degrees.  That's why I had toffee.  
So now, I have soft caramels waiting to be cut and dipped.  
This story might not be over since I haven't even tasted the stuff yet.
Anyone have some more advice or fun stories to share?


After I finally got the caramel out of the pan, I had a taste and it was yummy.
I dipped all of it tonight, as you can see.
My lovely little army of caramels.


  1. these look yummy.
    great job and not giving up. next time it will be easier

  2. Hey JoAnne,
    I have an excellent caramel recipe that you make in the microwave. If I try to make caramels at high altitude, it takes three hours the stove top way!!! If you want the microwave recipe, e-mail me.