How to Caramelise Sugar

Caramelise like a pro and open the doorway to an array of dessert recipes!

Ishita Lote

There are a zillion questions that cross one's mind when it comes to caramelising. What is the correct temperature to stop? What colour should it be? How should it taste? Other than sugar, what are the other ingredients that can be caramelised? If you've dealt with these questions too, then you've come to the right place. Chef Gautam Mehrishi teaches you an absolute way to caramelise sugar..

What is caramelising?

“Caramelising is a process in which natural or man-made sugars are converted into a brown-coloured liquid which hardens and gets crystallized on cooling”, explains chef Mehrishi.

How to Caramelise Sugar

What is caramel used for?

A myriad of dessert recipes use caramel as their main ingredient - til chikkis, caramel custard, toffees and caramel popcorn, to name a few. It lends a sweet, nutty flavour to these recipes making them truly delectable.

Let’s start caramelising!

1) Take a non-stick pan and heat it on a medium flame. 
2) Add granulated sugar to it. Switch the flame from medium to high.
3) When you see the sugar crystals come together, forming loose snow-white lumps, you have reached the first stage of caramelisation.
4) As you keep stirring, the sugar crystals start melting and form a light golden syrup. This is the second stage of caramelisation. In case you feel that the sugar is starting to burn, add a teaspoon of water.
5) The colour gets denser as the sugar loses more moisture. Keep stirring to avoid the mixture from hardening or sticking to the bottom. Dim the flame. To make the caramel sauce, add butter at this stage.
6) Switch off the flame but don’t stop stirring. When you see an even layer of froth develop, the caramel is ready for use.

Scroll up and watch the video where Chef Gautam Mehrishi shows different ways to use caramel syrup. 

How to Caramelise Sugar

Precautionary Measures

  • While caramelising sugar, ensure not a single drop of water enters the pan. Another important thing to remember is to be gentle while stirring. The temperature inside the sugar crystals is very high and if it splutters outside the pan, it may injure you.
  • Always use a spatula or spoon with a long handle while caramelising.

What else can I use for caramelising?

Caramelisation can also be done using other ingredients like brown sugar and jaggery.

How to store caramel?

Caramel can be stored in the form of sauce. To make this, simply add any citric fruit juice of your choice to the prepared caramel. Chef Mehrishi suggests using apricot, orange or plum juice. The acidity in these juices prevent the caramel from hardening. Alternatively, you can also use fresh cream or butter to prepare the sauce. Make sure that you consume the sauce within 20 days. Store it in an airtight container. Avoid using metal jars for storage as it may alter the flavour. Use this sauce to top your favourite ice cream or simply for glazing a cake.


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