National Caramel Day

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caramel

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:

  1. Caramel candies and caramel apples are made from different substances.
  2. Caramel is created from cooking sugar for long periods of time over a specific temperature
  3. Many candies are made with caramel flavoring including, caramel apples, pralines, nougats, and crème caramel custard
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

carmel corn

Caramel Corn

Five Recipes:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Caramel Matzo Crunch- An outstanding, unique, and easy confection. If you make only one thing at Passover, make this.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

CARAMEL MATZO CRUNCH

Caramel Matzo Crunch

Click for more Caramel recipes.

Nutrition information per 10 g of candy caramels:

Calories:   39 
Fat:
1 g
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 25 mg
Protein:  0.4 g
Sugars:  7 g