Misc. Baking Skills

Homemade Caramel

Since my son had a birthday a few days ago, but chaos reigned with the play, visiting relatives, doctor’s appointments, hand injury (still recovering) and driver’s ed for the older kid, things got postponed.  The chocolate roulade is his favorite, so I said I would make him one.

After starting this process, I realized that I didn’t have any caramel sauce in the house!  Oh, the horror!  I thought I’d give making caramel sauce another try.

It’s time consuming and you’ll think things have gone horribly wrong because instructions from other web sites don’t give you all the information you need…but here goes:

  1.  Put about 1 1/4 cups of sugar into a 3 quart pan.  You can add a few tablespoons of water to the sugar.  
  2. Heat up the sugar water to just boiling, then turn down to simmer on fairly low heat–on 2 or 3 on your knob.  Over the next 15-20 minutes, all the liquid will cook off and you’ll have a fairly chunky sand-like consistency.  
  3. Eventually, it will start to brown on the bottom and re-liquify and turn a lovely amber brown.  Give this mess a gentle stir to break up the chunks of sugar and dissolve them the rest of the way.
  4. Then the directions say to lower the heat to low and immediately dump in a cup of heavy cream and stir.  Well, this will sizzle and seize up the sugar into a lump.  It’s alarming.  You’ll think you messed up.  Don’t panic.  I actually removed it from the heat for a bit so the burner could cool down a smidge. 
  5. Keep stirring–eventually the lump of goo will dissolve back into the sauce.
  6. When all (or most) of the goo has dissolved back into the sauce, pour the sauce into a heat-proof container (glass jars are good for this especially since there are lids for storage) and allow to cool to room temperature. 

And now to finish the chocolate roulade…

Sooooper gooey caramel sauce….

And rolling up the cake resulted in…

Epic cracking.  Mary Berry says that “cracking is normal and part of its charm” but I don’t think this is what she meant.  This seems to happen every time.  I just found out why–the cake is undercooked.  Sigh.

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