Scip asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 1 decade ago

Tips for making caramel?

I want to make a caramel for a flan. I want it so that when I invert the flan into a plate, the caramel is still gooey. My experience with caramel isn't good though. It always turns out hard...and I am not sure why. Any tips? I know not to stir, only to swirl...maybe hints on temperature? Should I add creme after it caramelizes to make it gooey? What will work?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is NOT a good idea to add creme for a caramel that is intended for flan. Why?..because you want to swirl the caramel onto where you are going to later put the flan mix. If you add the creme, it will NOT be as liquid, therefor there will be no nice and shiny caramel crust for a beautiful flan. The caramel is not only the artistic part of a flan but it also plays a very important role in the taste.

    Now, how do you want a caramel for a flan?....Follow my tips and you will NEVER burn a caramel again. First of all, the color must be medium brown, never do it dark brown because it will simply become bitter.


    3/4 of sugar

    1/2 a cup of water

    Put it on a pan at medium high then when the water is consume lower the temperature at medium...Stay THERE, dont go anywhere......when the caramel starts browning swirl the pan or lift it from the stove..until it reaches medium brown...retrieve immediately......pour mix (immediately into flan pan) swirl it and make sure the caramel covers most of the pan....add flan mixture and cook flan...

    Why the water? It will prevent the caramel from burning so quickly..

    Been doing flan for 20 years

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  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the type of caramel you are trying to make. If you are making the "caramel" for a classic flan, then that tends to just be caramelized table sugar, and it has never hardened up for me. If you are making a caramel type sauce that includes cream, then, yes you should add that after the cooking of the sugars has been completed and stir to keep the cream from curdling.

    Also, I forgot to mention, you can make a creamy type caramel by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk for 3-4 hours, making sure to always keep the can submerged by adding water as it evaporates. I use this on cheesecakes from time to time.

    This is an old recipe for Caramel sauce from Alton Brown, and it works out very well.

    Caramel Sauce

    Adapted from Alton Brown


    2 cups sugar

    1 tablespoon light corn syrup

    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

    1 cup water

    1 cup heavy cream

    Equipment: Heavy saucepan, silicone spatula, and candy thermometer (optional)


    1.Combine sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and water into a 2-quart saucepan on high heat, and stir with silicone spatula.

    2.When sugar has dissolved, insert candy thermometer, and bring mixture to a boil.

    3.Turn down to medium heat once temperature reads 230ºF, or has reached the soft-ball candy stage and is a light caramel color.

    4.When temperature has reached 300ºF, approximately five minutes later, stir mixture with silicone spatula to ensure sugar solution will heat evenly.

    5.At 340ºF, when the solution is a dark reddish-brown, immediately turn off heat, remove the thermometer, pour in heavy cream, and stand back to avoid any splatters.

    6.Once the mixture calms down, return heat back to medium, and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    7.Remove from heat and allow to cool thoroughly before transferring to any containers. To enjoy warm, microwave in heatsafe container for 30 seconds, or submerge jar in warm water.

    Makes approximately 2 cups.

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  • 1 decade ago
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