I love love love caramel and in all its forms, need some proof? Well there’s this and this, oh and this. Ive only made proper caramels once before and they were a great success, but caramel can be a little tricky so when, on the spur of the moment, I decided I fancied making them again I decided to turn to Dan Lepards All Purpose Caramel Recipe. These came out just wonderfully and they were gone in no time at all. Ill be making these again but one of the great things about the recipe is that Dan designed it so that it can be used in many different ways, as a caramel sauce, as a soft set caramel, or a firmer version. He also suggests flavour variations – Creme Fraiche and Treacle, Toasted Brazil Nut and Orange, and Olive Oil and Black Pepper which all sound wonderful too and all using the same proportions of the original recipe. Because im a a big fan of caramel I wanted to share the love so here is the Dan Lepard recipe with as many pictures as I could manage, to try and show the process.
150g White Sugar – Granulated, Caster or Unrefined White
150g White, Soft Brown or Muscavado Sugar
75g Unsalted Butter (or 50ml Oil)
200ml Single or Double Cream, Clotted Cream or Creme Fraiche
75ml Golden or Corn Syrup, Black Treacle/Molasses, Honey, Malt or Maple Syrup
1/4 Tsp Salt
1. Make sure your tin is lined and close by. Heat the first 150g white sugar with 25ml water in a pan over medium heat until it turns a rich reddish brown. (this is the only stage I have ever found tricky, because there is only a small amount of water ive found the sugar on the edges can crystalise a bit and to prevent it I use a wet pastry brush to wet the sides which helps prevent the crystals forming)
2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter or oil followed by the second amount of sugar, your choice of syrup, the cream and the salt. Be very careful doing this because the mixture can bubble viscously so if your worried wear oven gloves.
3. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about three or four minutes until it reaches the desired temperature. For a caramel sauce heat to 113C (235F), for a soft set caramel heat to 127C (260F) and 130C (266F) for a firmer set.
4. Remove from the heat and let sit for a minute so that the bubbles subside. Swirl the pan gently to remove any remaining bubbles then pour while still hot into your pan and let sit until cold.
5. Once fully cooled, cut into pieces and wrap in squares of parchment paper.
The flavour variations Dan suggests sound great and if you want the breakdown on those take a look at the page linked at the top of the post. The ingredients I chose this time were Granulated Sugar, Soft Brown Sugar, Butter, Double Cream and Golden Syrup