My family has a caramel recipe that is at least 3 generations old. My grandmother made these when my mother was young, and my mother made them every holiday season of my life until I was 19 or 20, when I took over the caramel-making duties.
This year, I'd like to use all organic ingredients, but I am so far having trouble locating an organic dark corn syrup --- without ordering online, anyway. (I am in Minneapolis, and have tried the Wedge Co-op, Seward Co-op, Eastside Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, Kowalski's, Whole Foods, and Cooks of Crocus Hill. Linden Hills was my last call, and their grocer explained to me that all the co-ops in the area have the same distributer, and the distributer recently discontinued carrying organic dark corn syrup, so now none of the co-ops can carry it.)
I have found organic brown rice syrup, but am worried about 1.) potential off-flavors, and 2.) different/unknown sugar composition/content affecting the consistency/viscosity of the finished caramel. I know the function adding corn syrup is its invert sugar content, which keeps the sugar from crystallizing, and so is a large contributor to the final consistency of the caramel. I'm guessing the invert content of dark corn syrup vs brown rice syrup is not the same (guessing that brown rice syrup is less 'inverted' because it is less sweet?), but I'm not sure how to compensate for it. (I've heard you can add an acid, like lemon juice or citric acid, but I don't know how much to add, or again, if it would add an odd taste.) Has anyone tried brown rice syrup in a caramel recipe, or using an acid to increase inverted sugar content in caramels?
I realize that I could use a more 'heritage' recipe, of the type beginning with cream and sugar, but I don't really have the time to experiment before gift-giving, and this wouldn't be grandma's recipe anyway.
My friends and relatives are awaiting my caramels for Christmas -- and I'd love to be able to give them an all-organic version (and avoid using a product made from a GMO and pesticide/herbicide-applied crop.) Can anyone help?