Caramelizing sugar is less tricky when a small amount of water is added to help dissolve the sugar. Water also acts as a thermostat to slow the rapid heating of the sugar, decreasing the chance of burning. Check out these tips.
- Take steps to prevent crystallization or a grainy texture. Use a recipe that calls for a small amount of corn syrup only stir as the recipe directs (not too often).
- Use the correct pan size. Caramelizing sugar will bubble up as it cooks. Use a pan that feels heavy for its size and is light in color.
- Seriously, it’s hot! Use oven mitts, and go slowly when moving the pan or pouring the hot sugar mixture from the pan. Do not taste!
- Keep an eye on color. In seconds the sugar can go from perfect dark amber to overdone. Start over if the sugar burns.