PREP: - (5 min)
RUN: - (50 min)
- Select a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, multiply stainless or
enameled iron. It is important the inside is light in color so you
can judge color. You will also need a wood or metal spatula with
which to scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Set out a shallow pan of cold water so that when the sauce pan
is set in it, the water will come up about 1/3 on its sides. This
is a quench to instantly stop the cooking at just the right point.
- In the saucepan, put the Sugar and 1/4 c Water.
Heat over very moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is evenly
dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Now leave it alone.
- The Sugar should soon start to bubble a little at the edges,
then more bubbling into the center. If the heat is right, it should
bubble enthusiastically, but not angrily.
- Eventually, in 25 to 30 minutes, it should form a hard crust,
then become all crusty. You will now see the Sugar beginning to melt.
You can stir it up a little at this point, breaking up the crust
so it melts evenly. Watch it with care.
- The Sugar will darken. When it is nearing coffee color, you will
see a few wisps of smoke. Immediately take the pan off the
heat and stir continuously, watching the color with care. When it
achieves a reddish coffee color, set the pan into the waiting cold
water to quench the cooking. After a minute or so, you can pour the
other 1/2 cup of Water into the pan with only moderate
sizzling. The Caramel will immediately seize up hard.
- Put the pan back on the slow burner and heat it, but not to a
boil. Stir often until the caramel has completely dissolved into
the water. Let it cool for a few minutes, then pour it into a small
wide mouth jar.
- If you got it right, it should have a very dark color and
moderately bittersweet flavor. Cover the jar and store it at
room temperature - it will not spoil.