Originally Posted by LindaF144a
Originally Posted by cakestyles
Yes, you definitely need a thermometer to make caramel.
Also, it takes a lot longer than 4 to 5 minutes to reach the temperature needed, so I'd say that recipe was for more of a caramel "like" topping instead of real caramel.
I purchased my thermometer at I think it was Bed Bath and Beyond with their coupon for way under $20, they're good to have.
Respectfully, no you don't.
We make caramel sauce twice a day, every day. We do not use a thermometer. We go by sight. You want a nice dark color. By the time it gets a nice dark color, it is definitely warm enough. I never learned to make it with a thermometer, not have I ever seen it in textbooks that way either.
Instead if you want butter in your caramel sauce (It is not necessary by the way. A good sauce will taste very yummy without the butter), add it in the end after you add the heaving whipping cream. It will be hot enough to melt the butter. It could be the butter is separating because of when you add it, not the temperature of the sugar.
And I respectfully disagree with you. Making caramel is a lot different than making caramel "sauce". You don't need to get your sugar as hot when your making a sauce as opposed to a real caramel.
If you don't get that sugar to the proper temperature you'll either end up with separation, sugar granules/crystals or a caramel that doesn't set up.
How can you possibly determine the soft ball or hard ball temperature without having a thermometer?
I'm certainly not a novice, I went to culinary school 25 yrs ago, but I still use a thermometer even if I "think" the color looks right I'm still off 10 degrees.
Especially for someone who has never made caramel before, a thermometer is a necessity.
I want a thick, chewy, stringy textured caramel, not a sauce. The recipe link I posted is just that...it's not a pourable sauce that you'd use on a sundae.