Earlier today I made caramel to use in filled chocolates. I caramelized my sugar, stirred in my cream, and drizzled some on a refrigerated plate. The color and consistency looked good, but my chocolate hadn't quite finished tempering so I left the caramel in the pot, off the burner, to wait on the chocolate. When I got to filling the chocolate shell the caramel had become somewhat stiff and very grainy, on the whole very nasty and unusable. I tossed the ugly mess and just made solid chocolates.
What did I do to cause the change in the caramel? The caramel that remained on the plate still had the nice texture and consistency, nothing at all like the awful stuff in the pot. How do I keep this from happening again?