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Science of caramel
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choccywoccydoodaa
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February 5, 2007 - 9:47 am
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Understand this is away from chocolate but if anyone can help!

I'm trying to find a fairly simple overview of the chemistry of what happens in making caramel. ie. reactions and particularly how the variations of ingredients and amounts of ingredients can affect texture and flavour.

All help appreciated

Choccy

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green
Trondheim, Norway
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February 5, 2007 - 10:28 am
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Perhaps you can find help here:
[url]http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/candy-links.html[/url]

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aguynamedrobert
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February 5, 2007 - 8:01 pm
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I might not be able to answer all your questions but can give you little tidbits...I made caramel professionally for a while...

1)Caramel is a cooked sugar where the dairy in the product produces the flavor. The sugar involved in caramel is lactose. The browning that occurs is from the heating of the milk solids. Milk solids burn easy and brown even easier.
2)Caramel usually has a good deal of corn syrup or glucose added to the recipe which prevents crystalization. Crystalization is not wanted in caramel. Anything that prevents crystalization in a cooked sugar is called an "interfering agent". Another interfering agent is acid. You can add acid to any cooked sugar(caramel being one them) to help prevent crystalizing the batch.
3)Too much water in a caramel recipe will cause it to easily crystalize.
4)If sugar crystals are left on the side of the pot and then fall back into the caramel after it has reached a boil then the entire batch can crystalize.
5)Too hard of movements in the caramel as it is cooking can crystalize the batch.

There's a few rules and facts about caramel...I hope some of them help...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
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choccywoccydoodaa
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February 6, 2007 - 5:03 pm
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Hi Robert,
Thanks for this (and Green) - just one last question. How can you alter the finished viscosity of the caramel. Is it just down to cooking temp or can you alter other factors too? ie. ingredient mix

Thanks

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Hans-Peter Rot
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February 6, 2007 - 5:52 pm
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Cooking time can alter the viscosity of the caramel due to moisture content. Longer cooking will generally yield a thicker caramel because more moisture will be lost to evaporation, but a shorter cooking time will usually produce a thinner caramel.

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aguynamedrobert
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February 6, 2007 - 7:50 pm
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Cooking Temp is the first and foremost factor of hardness or viscocity...It all depends (like montegrano said) on how much water is in the sugar mixture at the time you stop cooking, and temperature will be the judge on that...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
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choccywoccydoodaa
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February 7, 2007 - 8:48 am
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Thanks all

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