Sugar Crystals in Caramels?

by Fred

Making Homemade Caramels

Making Homemade Caramels

Question about Sugar Crystals in Caramels:

We made caramels last night. It seemed to take forever to get to the 246-248 degree stage.

Finally it made it and we poured the caramels into a glass 8 X 8 pan. The candy on the edges is perfect, nice and chewy. The candy in the center of the pan is sugared.

What did we do wrong? Is there a way to salvage the sugared candy?

Hi Fred,

I know just what you mean about the sugar crystals in your caramels. It's grainy like the sugar hasn't dissolved.

That's one of the biggest problems with making caramel candy, apart from the patience needed. :-)

First of all, be sure the pan and utensils are very clean and dry. One little foreign particle stuck to the pan or spoon can bring on sugar crystals.

As you are cooking the candy mixture, you need to keep a pastry brush handy and dip it in water and brush the insides of the pan to keep sugar crystals from forming along the sides and causing the caramel to become 'sugared.'

It only takes one little tiny crystal to form and it can start a chain reaction throughout the whole batch. All the sugar wants to change back into crystal form at the first opportunity.

Another tip is to stir in a swirling motion (like a figure 8) rather than the traditional circular stirring method. This may help you prevent getting as much candy syrup up the sides of the pan. Of course, once the sugar is completely dissolved, you usually STOP stirring when making caramels.

When it's time to pour out the caramel, don't scrape the bottom of the pan. Crystals may have formed along the pan surface and you don't want to scrape them into your finished caramels. Of course, you can always scrape it into a separate little dish for you to taste test once it cools down slightly. :)

Finally, adding an "interfering agent" like a little lemon juice in the beginning can "interfere" and help prevent the sugar from crystallizing. If you are using a recipe that calls for corn syrup, that is also an interfering agent.

I wish I knew of a quick fix for your grainy sugared candy. Unfortunately, most research I've done indicates that it's too late once the candy has cooled.

Is it still edible? Maybe you can keep that for your own private stash and make another batch for 'company.'

Hope that info. helps some.


Comments for Sugar Crystals in Caramels?

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Dec 16, 2012
sugary layer on caramels NEW
by: Anonymous

One batch of my caramels got a sugary layer on them after they were wrapped. They are fine on the inside. What gives?

Apr 16, 2012
Caramel Too Soft NEW
by: Angie

Hi Brandilyn,

I moved your questions to this page since we are already discussing problems making caramel over here. :)

If you feel your caramel is still too soft compared to how you would like it, you can put it back in the pot and melt it down again following the instructions in my post above.

Hope you get a successful result! :)

Apr 16, 2012
Caramels Too Soft NEW
by: Brandilyn

I took my caramel mixture off the stove too early, is there a way to fix it so it sets properly?

I was making home made caramels and when I put it in the pans to make molds it wasn't setting hard. I'm just curious if there is a way to save them!

Feb 04, 2012
Fixing Caramel NEW
by: Angie

You should be able to reheat your caramel (carefully) and bring it back up to the caramel temperature (248 degrees F.).

Be sure your candy thermometer is accurate to rule out that problem.

Yes, the rain could be the culprit because of the added humidity in the air. If it is still humid, you may want to raise the temperature to 250. Just watch it like a hawk!

Let us know the results. :)

Feb 04, 2012
Fixing Caramels NEW
by: Anonymous

I made caramels last night, and I'm guessing some combination of the following happened to cause it not to set: didn't cook it long enough before adding cream/butter, it rained last night after I went to bed.

Can I recook this, or is it too late and I just have sauce?

Dec 16, 2011
carmels gone bad NEW
by: Anonymous

Help i have the same problem... thought maybe it was the thermometer????? Can't keep repeating the batches..... any suggestions?????

Mar 28, 2011
chewy caramels turned sugary
by: Julie

I made yummy chewy caramels dipped in chocolate, but after a few days some of them turned sugary on the inside...some were still nice and chewy. What gives? What is causing this?

Jan 05, 2011
need help: caramels
by: swooshie

I make homemade caramels. they are yummy. but they don't last long. it seems after awhile they crystallize and the caramels turn to a fudge like mess. How do I prevent this? is there an additive to ad shelf life. I have stores that want to sell them.

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