Friday, October 05, 2007

Caramel Coated

I saw a sweatshirt today that said "Chemistry is just like cooking...just don't lick the spoon!" Thus inspired to do some chemistry in my kitchen (where I can lick the spoon) and having some apples from the local farmer's market in my 'fridge crying aloud to be covered in caramel, I embarked on a candy making adventure tonight.

The recipe called for melting a cup of sugar over high heat, then whisking in butter until melted and finally some heavy cream. This is not a low calorie recipe! Nor is it one for meditation - once that sugar melts, you need to be ready with a whisk and the butter. Having mucked up the whisk trying to melt the sugar (the recipe recommended using a whisk to stir while melting - I found a silicon spoon worked better - once I convinced myself the melting point of sucrose, which I know in celsius (160), was lower than the max temperature the spoon was designed for, which I know in Fahrenheit (425). As a result, I was madly digging in the drawer for another whisk whilst trying to keep the melting sugar from overbrowning. The word relaxing does not come to mind...

In the end I have caramel sauce, it tastes right - no grit, rich and buttery - but it's not thick and gooey. Like any good chemical reaction, the conditions clearly need a bit of tweaking.

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