Put the sugar in a medium-sized pot with a lid
Put the sugar in a medium-sized pot with a lid. The pot should be large enough that the sugar will be about 2 inches from the sides of the pan. It is important not to stir the sugar as it melts; doing so can make it crystallize, which is not a good result. As an added precaution, put a lid on your pot; this will keep any stray splashes of molten caramel from landing on your skin and causing pain. Use a non-stick pan for ease in cleanup and safety.
Cover the pot with a lid and let the sugar melt over med-high heat.
- Next, place a lid over the pot to protect the sugar from crystallizing. It’s important to use a clear lid so you can see how much sugar has melted without removing the lid and preventing evaporation. Melted sugar can be tricky to work with, so make sure not to burn it by keeping an eye on the temperature of your stove.
Once it starts to melt, put the lid on and watch it closely.
The candy thermometer will tell you when it’s time to start watching the sugar. At around 235°F, it will begin to show signs of melting. As soon as this happens, put the lid on your pot. This keeps the steam in and allows the sugar to melt more evenly.
If you leave your sugar for too long it will burn—and burning is a bad thing here. Sugar burns easily and once it starts burning you won’t be able to save it from that bitter taste! And if this does happen, all you can do is throw out your batch and start again because there’s no way of scrubbing that burnt flavour out of your rock candy.
When choosing which type of sugar to use for making homemade rock candy, it’s important to opt for granulated or caster sugar as these are made up mostly of sucrose (a carbohydrate) that can crystallise easily into rock candy formations if given enough time. The best part about using white table sugars like these is they have been stripped down over time so most impurities have been removed already—making them perfect for growing large crystals!
When all of is melted, turn down the heat and add the butter.
To make the caramel sauce, heat a pot large enough to hold all of the sugar on medium-high heat. Pour in the sugar and let it melt, stirring constantly. Watch carefully as the sugar begins to melt, taking care not to leave it unattended or let the sugar burn. Once all of the sugar has melted, turn down the heat and add the butter and cream until both are fully incorporated.
Then add the cream slowly while stirring constantly.
Once the sugar has melted, turn the heat down to medium low. Slowly add in your cream while stirring constantly. The mixture will bubble and foam as you do this so be very careful! You should continue stirring until all of your ingredients are added and then keep stirring a little bit longer. Turn off the heat and stir thoroughly to make sure it’s all combined evenly.
If you’re making salted caramel, now is when you’ll add your salt (about ¼-½ teaspoon). It won’t dissolve right away, but that’s okay! It will eventually break up into tiny crystals and incorporate into your sauce as it cools.
Pour into a glass jar or container and let cool before using.
Pour out any remaining sauce into a glass jar or container and let it cool before storing in the refrigerator.
Prepare your surface: caramel can reach temperatures of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure the surface you’re working on is heatproof or protected by a towel or wooden cutting board.
Then, slowly and carefully pour your caramel into your desired containers (if you’re using plastic, be sure it can withstand hot liquids). Let cool completely before applying the lids. You can keep these in your fridge for up to two weeks!
Homemade caramel is better than store bought.
Using Homemade Caramel
Homemade caramel can be used in all of your favorite recipes. It is a great substitution for store bought caramel and it’s much easier to make than you might think. It only uses a few ingredients, and the whole process takes less than one hour! Homemade caramel even tastes better than store-bought, so once you start making your own, you may never go back to the store-bought stuff again.
Making Homemade Caramel
It is easy to make homemade caramel but it does require some specific ingredients and a few tools. You will need sugar, water, corn syrup (or honey), butter, heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract. You will also need cooking utensils like a whisk or wooden spoon and a candy thermometer (if you don’t have one of these you can substitute with an instant read thermometer).