Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confectionery product made by heating any of a variety of sugars. It is used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, and as a topping for ice cream, custard and coffee.
The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 170 °C (340 °F). As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor.
Five Fun Facts:
- Caramel candies and caramel apples are made from different substances.
- Caramel is created from cooking sugar for long periods of time over a specific temperature
- Many candies are made with caramel flavoring including, caramel apples, pralines, nougats, and crème caramel custard
- Caramel coloring, a dark, bitter-tasting liquid, is the highly concentrated product of near total caramelization, bottled for commercial use. It is used as food coloring and in beverages such as cola.
- Caramel candy is a soft, dense, chewy candy made by boiling a mixture of milk or cream, sugar(s), butter, and vanilla flavoring. The sugar(s) are heated separately to reach 170 °C (340 °F), caramelizing them before the other ingredients are added.
- Caramel (Nut) Corn - You can leave the nuts out completely or add a combination of whichever lightly toasted nuts you like. Package this up in paper or plastic bags (decorated by the kids) or store in airtight containers. This is sure to be a hit!
- Caramel Applesauce with Cumin- Creamy, sweet applesauce with just a hint of cumin—eat this on its own or as the perfect pairing with sweet potato latkes.
- Caramel Matzo Crunch- An outstanding, unique, and easy confection. If you make only one thing at Passover, make this.
- Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)- This delightful flan would be a hit at your next dinner party or special occasion. Every panaderia (bakery) in Puerto Rico has many flavors of flan, from vanilla to guava. Reduced-fat cream cheese gives this version a rich, comforting texture.
- Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding - Sweet caramelized pears are the highlight of this comforting, custardy, raisin-studded bread pudding. When turned out of its baking dish, the flanlike pudding sits in a pool of intense caramel syrup, making it worthy of any holiday table. Serve warm or chilled.
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Nutrition information per 10 g of candy caramels:
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 25 mg
Protein: 0.4 g
Sugars: 7 g