Making caramel sauce

I bought some new lights recently. Two ePhoto 1000 LED 5500K Professional Video Studio Portrait LED Light Panel Lighting Light Panel. My kitchen is rather dark. Its not next to windows for natural lighting. So it relies on fluorescent lighting. Which is okay for normal use. But not nearly bright enough for video. I tried out three halogen work lights from Home Depot. These are pretty cheap. You can work around the yellow-brown tint. But they put out a lot of heat.

LED lights are the wave of the future. They use less electricity and they run cool. The only problem is with the light balance. But that will become less of a problem as the technology progresses.

This time around, I decided to not talk as I was cooking. And I just recorded the background noises. This meant I had to wait for the refrigerator to stop cooling and turn off the air conditioner.

Now I had to write a dialog and record that track separately. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn off the computer’s speaker while I was watching the video and speaking my lines. And I caught an instant messaging beep at the end. I also didn’t bother with timing out the lines and fitting them to what I was doing on the video. Sigh, this gets complicated rather quickly.

Cooking Caramel from Mark Hamzy on Vimeo.

This recipe is for a quick version of caramel sauce. Instead of using white sugar, you use dark brown sugar. The molasses is what you would normally get when you caramelize the sugar. You also mix the cream in with the sugar and just cook off the water without burning the sugar and milk solids. So I wanted to show you what stages the liquid goes through as the water slowly cooks off. Keep in mind that it will snowball towards the end. Water keeps the temperature pegged at the boiling point until it boils off. Once the water is gone, it will offer no protection and the sugar (and other solids) will quickly heat up.

When sugar syrup is heated, it goes through the following stages (which is how it acts when it is cooled back down in ice water.

Fahrenheit Term Sugar/Water % Description Use
230-234 Thread 80% Forms 2″ threads Syrup
234-240 Soft Ball 85% Ball that flattens Fondant, fudge, pralines
244-248 Firm Ball 87% Ball that holds its shape Caramels
250-266 Hard Ball 92% Ball is hard and firm Divinity, nougat
270-290 Soft Crack 95% Hard, pliable threads Taffy
300-310 Hard Crack 99% Hard, brittle threads Brittles, lollipops
320-350 Caramel 100%? Syrup from tan to brown Flan