The first time I tried to make caramel, it was just a disaster. I met a chef once who shared a recipe that required making a caramel. He told me to start by heating sugar in a pan without anything else: no water, no lemon juice, nothing. First step went fine and the caramel was just turning the right color. This is when I had to add the fruit juice. And I did. The caramel just went solid as a rock. I was lucky not being burned by the splashes. So I concluded this was not the right way. In fact I just didn’t pour enough liquid and was not patient enough to see the solid dissolve in the liquid. I learned afterwards that sugar start to caramelize only when water is missing so the chemical reaction makes the magic. So the more water you add, the longer you wait. Although, I find it easier to use some water at start. Since this first bad experience with caramel, I made it right all the time from salted butter caramel to syrup. I take this easy caramel syrup recipe from my mother in law. She gets so many treasures in her cookbooks… This one is great because it’s simple and you can keep it for two months stored in a dry place.
Easy caramel syrup recipe
- 500g/17,6oz sugar
- 12cl + 25cl/4fl.oz.+8fl.oz water
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
In a pan, heat the sugar, 12cl of water and vinegar over low heat. The sugar dissolves, the syrup makes bubbles and then turns brown after approx. 30 minutes. The color is important because if its two dark, the caramel will taste bitter and if not brown enough it won’t be tasty. When the caramel hits the right color, pour by far 25cl of boiling water with caution. The syrup spits. Just wait for one more minute for the caramel to dissolve in the water. Remove from heat and let it cool before pouring it in a waterproof container.
Store in a dry place and keep it for two months. Use to flavor yogurt, milky rice, caramel cream or coat ice cream.