I finally took a shot at caramels yesterday. For staters, I like to cook as a hobby, I like chocolate but I haven't done much by way of candy making. I bake with chocolate frequently bu don't have much candy making experience other than the occasional batch of toffee or brittle (which usually turn out fairly well). I bought Greweling's book as a starting point and yesterday was my first attempt so I decided to start with one of my favorites to eat (caramels) and something that looked relatively easy to make (the sweetened condensed milk version of the soft caramel recipe). Here's the good and the bad:
Good: Flavor was great!! I had planned to try all 3 soft caramel recipes in the book but now it's hard to imagine any of the others tasting better than these.
Color was good. I was a little worried here because the photo example in the book looked very pale. These had a nice deep, dark, brown, well . . . caramel, color. No complaints.
Bad: Way too soft! I poured them in a frame on a marble slab to cool. After slicing with a chefs knife, the sections would not hold their shape very well at all. Left them on the slab overnight and the sections had "melted" back together in a solid block although you could still see the lines made by the knife.
Bottom line is that these taste great but are way too soft to dip, IMO. I cooked them to 243 degrees, should I try going a little higher? Also, how sensitive is caramel to weather? It's unseasonably warm here (80 degrees today, nearly that yesterday). Do I need to cool the room? I know I do for tempering chocolate, not sure about making caramel.
All comments, questions, and suggestions appreciated.
updated by @walt-moody: 04/13/15 10:18:48AM