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Why does my caramel burn?

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Why does my caramel burn?

pharmnerd | May 5, 2009 11:45 PM

Made a cheesecake flan from Sherry Yard's dessert book 3 times & despite following directions to a "T", each time the caramel's burnt/bitter. Why?

From memory:

Caramel: sugar, water, lemon juice
-High heat covered 4mins
-Remove cover & continue high heat until 300deg
-Then reduce to medium heat continue to 340deg
(states addt'l 10-12 mins, but always takes 1/2 that for me)
-Brushing down stray sugar crystals all along
-Remove from heat, let bubbles subside then pour into cake pan
(supposed to look amber, but looks very dark to me)
-Thereafter, much like for cheesecake, baked in water bath for 1.5 hrs then left in oven for 1 hour w/ heat off.

I used a Pyrex & Taylor candy thermometers, small-med All-Clad sauce pan on GE Monogram range. I try to adjust the heat down so it cooks slower, but didn't seem to make a difference.

What am I doing wrong? Heat too high? Why bitter/burnt even though the candy temp is dead on? Ugh! Help appreciated.

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