Making caramel sauce can be a lot of fun, but let’s be real, it can also be quite a challenge. I mean, there are so many things that can go wrong during the process. But don’t worry, with some useful tips, you can master the perfect caramel sauce technique!
And if by chance you end up with grainy caramel sauce, you might be thinking “Oh no, what do I do now?” Well, fear not because I’ve got you covered! Just keep on reading and I’ll tell you how to fix it.
What Is Caramel Sauce?
We must have all tasted caramel sauce once in our lifetime, but do you understand what it is, or what is caramel made from?
Caramel, or as else called toffee, is a confectionery with a dark-brown/orange coating produced through the process of heating a diversity of sugar.
Making caramel requires a caramelization cycle that includes heating a wide range of sugar gradually up to 340 °F ~ 170 °C.
Once the sugar warms, the particles separate and re-structure into mixes with a trademark tone and flavor.
In the end, the substance goes liquidy brown to be put into containers to create various caramelized forms and shapes.
An assortment of confections, sweets, garnishes, and desserts are made with caramel. You can find them in any sweet store, such as nougats, brittles, pralines, crème brûlée, flan, crème caramel, and ice cream.
How To Fix Grainy Caramel Sauce?
1. What Are The Reasons For Grainy Caramel Sauce?
The Sauce Is Left Unused At Room Temperature For Too Long
Once you have finished making caramel sauce, it needs to be stored properly. Otherwise, the caramel sauce’s sugar crystal will start to crystalize, which accidentally creates grainy texture in your caramel sauce.
Especially for new-made sauce, it needs immediate use; its texture can go wrong quickly, creating grains or even collapsing.
The Heat Is Too High
The proper heating temperature is a deciding factor for cooking the perfect caramel sauce. If you leave the caramel sauce in a pan with a significant amount of heat, the sugar will likely react more badly rather than melting.
Similarly, like water, if you boil it too much, it starts to form bubbles and ends up draining.
Applying this theory to caramel sauce means that if the high heat causes the sauce to drain, the grainy problems will be visible in the sauce at the end of the process.
The Cooking Is Not Long Enough/ The Heat Is Too Low
The sauce comprises many sugar types, and each kind of sugar demands a different heat and temperature to melt entirely.
Contrary to providing too much heat, if you put the sauce on low heat with short cooking time, some specific kinds of sugar cannot melt, and they end up becoming grainy in your final product.
The Stirring Gets Interrupted
While making caramel sauce, always keep in mind that you must stir all the time for the caramel structure to be smooth and blendable.
If your stirring gets interrupted regularly, the sauce won’t blend evenly, and that’s the reason why the sauce becomes grainy rather than smooth.
2. How To Fix Grainy Caramel Sauce?
Although many reasons make the grainy caramel sauce issue happen regularly, there are many solutions for us to fix it! Let’s see what the answers to fix grainy caramel sauce are:
Add Glucose Syrup/Corn Syrup.
Glucose or corn syrup is one of the most frequently used caramel inhibitors. Differentiated from glucose alone, these kinds of syrup have longer molecules.
This characteristic makes them break the hard sugar crystals that create grains and interfere with the crystallization process later.
Glucose or corn syrup will also prevent more sugar crystals from being built, yet ensuring your caramel sauce is silk-smooth.
All you have to do is pour one to two teaspoons of glucose/corn syrup into the grainy sauce, stir it well, and you will no longer see the disturbing grains.
If glucose syrup is not available in your kitchen, you can always use the easiest substance to dilute something: water.
Water will eventually cause the sugar crystal structure to dissolve. But the process won’t be high-effective unless you bring in some heat.
Put the mixture of water and grainy caramel sauce in a pan, heating it with the allowed temperature, and your desired thickness of caramel sauce will soon appear.
Add Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can be an effective caramel inhibitor as well. As for the acid characteristics, lemon juice’s molecules can also break the hard sugar crystals in the grainy mixture.
Other than that, lemon is easy to find and you can have it anywhere at any time to fix your caramel sauce immediately.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and add a quarter cup of lemon juice. Mix them all slowly by moving the saucepan from side to side, front and back.
Remember to do this process carefully as this substance can easily burn if not handled carefully. Avoid using a spoon or whisk to minimize the risk of forming grains again.
Redo The Process With The Wet Method
When the grainy sauce is the dry method’s product, you should utilize that sauce for the wet method.
Since making caramel sauce by the dry process can easily cause the sugar to crystallize, the wet method allows water to come in and dilute the substance, and that’s what your grainy caramel sauce needs.
For this reason, normally now caramel sauce is made with this method too to guarantee the best caramel making process.
This foolproof caramel sauce approach utilizes sugar and water to make the caramel. Rather than pouring the sugar in a pan alone, you blend it in with some water. In that case, the sugar will disintegrate in the water.
The more water that is bubbled off, the hotter it becomes. When the water has all vanished, the sugar is sufficiently warm, and caramelization will begin.
It doesn’t make a difference in the amount of water you use. Hence, it is no issue to include additional water during bubbling. You can use as much water as you want due to your preference.
How To Avoid Grainy Caramel Sauce?
To fix grainy caramel sauce, you will need tips on how to stop caramel from crystallizing.
Stop Stirring While The Sugar Starts Caramelizing.
Since sugar crystals tend to build up fast when they are laid onto a flat heated surface, they will spread out very rapidly according to the heat.
Compared to wet areas, glucose crystals can form faster and easier in dry areas such as the pan’s bottom or the stirrer.
For this reason, you should not stir the sugar while caramelizing, only do so at the start when the crystallization is not visible yet!
Use Thick-Bottom Pans
Utilize the pot with the thickest base. You need to attempt a low heat and forestall problem areas. Like when you melt Nutella, the thicker the pots are, the more effective the chocolate melts.
On the off chance that you have a glass top oven, you may experience more difficulty with crystallization because the glass top doesn’t keep a decent consistent warmth. A curl top oven or open fire are both better choices.
However, it would be best if you kept stirring the caramel at a low or medium temperature. If you utilize a lower temperature, you’ll have the option to abstain from blending too.
This action allows the caramel to be smoother and minimize the chance of having grains. The risk of having overcooking and crystalizing caramel will decrease significantly as well.
With the right technique applied, you can have the high-quality caramel sauce at ease.
Do Not Scrape The Sides.
When you pour out the final product, remember not to scrape the sides to get the caramel out! This is a secret that not any caramel maker can know.
Instead of scraping out the sauce from the side, what you should do here is empty the pan as quickly as possible by letting the liquid slide without scraping it out.It’s those scraps that crystallize and spoil the end-product by giving it the grainy texture.
Make Sure The Cooking Tools Are Clean.
All the tools you use for cooking, such as the pan, spoon, etc. need a thorough clean before you begin the process. If any tool has dirt in it, it can totally affect the quality of caramel made inside it.
How To Make Homemade Caramel Sauce?
What Are The Techniques For Making Caramel?
You can caramelize the sugar by warming it to a temperature of 160 °C. When making caramel at home, there are two distinct approaches on how to make caramel sauce:
- The dry technique requires sugar and heat only.
- The wet method uses sugar and water, which is preferable and brings more prospect results.
The Dry Technique
In this technique, you place sugar in a pot and delicately sensate it until it begins to liquefy and brown, or as we can say, the first stage of caramelization.
As of now, some kinds of sugar may be earthy colored while caramelizing, while others may change color insignificantly. This strategy will, in general, be more precarious than the wet technique.
Notwithstanding, this strategy is quicker (you don’t need to dissipate all that water one more time) and gives a similar qualified result. Hence, it is easier to melt certain caramel types using this technique, for example, melting Kraft caramel.
The Wet Technique
Rather than heating the sugar alone, this technique requires a mixture of sugar and water. Since the sugar particles break up in the water, it is simpler to warm the whole substance.
While heating the sugar, the more water bubbles, the hotter it becomes. When the water has all dissipated, the sugar is sufficiently warm, and caramelization will begin.
It doesn’t make a difference how much water you include. Including more water will bring about a more extended bubbling time.
What Are The Other Conceivable Problems While Making Caramel?
If you are new to caramel making, you will likely encounter some specific trouble while executing this sweet treat. What can the problems be and how to fix it?
A caramel can separate if there’s fat in the caramel (for example, from margarine or cream).
Frequently, a split caramel situation occurs when the caramel is blended carelessly. In this situation, water can likewise help to mix everything again before bubbling off that extra water once again.
To wrap things up, don’t heat or chill off the caramel too quickly. The fat may soften or harden at an unexpected rate in comparison to the caramel, causing the split.
Another tip for you to avoid splitting caramel is to measure the ingredients well before cooking the sauce. Once the ingredients are not measured right, it can cause the sauce to be separated quickly.
The key point is to check the caramel sauce frequently while cooking to detect the problem as soon as possible.
If you are not sure if your ingredient amount is not precise, feel free to surf the Internet for the correct recipe.
Thick caramel sauce can occur if you leave the caramel outside for too long. It can also happen when you put it into the fridge for a long time. How to fix crystallized caramel?
Again, no concerns here! You only need to include some additional wetness inhibitors, and the caramel will melt down, and become the smooth, even-texture caramel you can utilize.
In fact, all sweet treats can be melted many times, including peanut butter, chocolate, etc.
So the question here is, is caramel able to be frozen again? Well, it definitely is with no issue. In fact, freezing caramel is one of the best ways to store this sweet treat. Take care to pack it with water/airproof, however.
When you need to utilize or consume the caramel, remember to defrost it. The caramel will have gotten hard before defrosting, so restrain yourself from enjoying this appealing treat for later.
How To Store Your Caramel Sauce?
If you have just finished your homemade caramel and want to know any information to store it, please choose one of the ways below to get the best way to keep the caramel sauce.
I already divided some methods according to your usage time.
For use in a short time (2 or 3 days)
After cooking homemade caramel, you can put it at room temperature to use in a short time. However, you should notice that this way only applies to the kind of caramel without heavy cream.
For use from one to two weeks
As soon as you do your homemade caramel, let it be cooler at room temperature. When you see the sauce has beautifully smooth, you should pour it into a jar or heat-resistant container and put it in the refrigerator.
At this time, maybe the sugar starts to crystallize, but do not worry because it is a normal phenomenon.
For use from one up to three months
The best way to make your caramel sauce last for the longest usage time is by storing it in the freezer.
Just make sure to put the sauce in an airtight container because maybe some homemade caramel contains the milk, which can be expanded when frozen and can break your glass.
Keeping caramel sauce in the fridge or the freezer for a long time can make it is more complicated than usual.
Notwithstanding, you can quickly put the sauce out from the fridge overnight and warm it gently before using it by using a microwave if it is needed.
How Long Does Caramel Sauce Last In The Fridge?
Caramel sauce is often made with caramelizing sugar and water, sometimes combined with heavy cream. As soon as a caramel sauce is cool, it becomes freeze, thickens, and hard texture.
The sauce can be set out at room temperature for some days, but it contains milk, so it is better to keep it in the refrigerator.
Furthermore, if it is kept in the fridge, the sauce will be last fresh for a longer time. Before putting it in cold condition, make sure your caramel is on the heat-resistant or glass bottle.
You can keep caramel for up to 10 days in the fridge, and thereafter, the sugar tends to start crystallizing, that you also can see some little gritty textures visual.
The sauce will be more complex from this time, but still fresher and safe to use in the next two or three weeks.
When taking out from the fridge for use, you simply warm caramel sauce up in the microwave to make it smooth again and infuse it with other ingredients.
The Final Words
And that’s everything we can cover on the question “How to fix grainy caramel sauce?” Through this article, we hope you can fix your grainy caramel sauce in time and know the right way to handle caramel sauce for future use.