Sunday, March 26, 2006

THE CARAMEL

Sugar boiled to the caramel is slightly dark in color. It breaks, when tested, making a noise like glass. When boiled, take it from the fire, and put the bottom of the pan into cold water, to prevent its burning. The production of caramel is attended with some difficulty, and great attention is necessary.

When a boiling solution of sugar and water has passed the soft-ball degree, it may readily grain unless glucose or some kind of acid is added. The danger may be guarded against also by melting the sugar very thoroughly before allowing the syrup to boil, or by brushing or sponging round the sides of the pan during boiling, so as to dissolve any hard particles or crystals forming there. Cream of tartar is the acid usually used to prevent the granulation of the syrup. If too large a quantity is used, it will cause the sugar to change color quickly, and the candies made or covered with it are likely to be soft and sticky.

The cream of tartar should not be added until all the scum has been removed from the boiling sugar and the sides of the pan cleansed from crystals. Boiling sugar intended for pulling or such purposes is all the better for the addition of a teaspoonful of glucose with the cream of tartar.
Pure sugar and water show no tendency to boil over. All impurities or scum on the surface should be removed as soon as the syrup boils, and then the boiling should be allowed to proceed quickly till the required degree is reached.

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