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How to Make Caramel

Learn how to make caramel in this Howcast food video featuring pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse.


Hi, my name is Katy Rosenhouse. Today I'm going to make a homemade caramel. So I'm starting with a cup of sugar, so I have my measuring cup. Okay, so that's one cup of sugar right in my pot. I've got a quarter cup of water. So let's get rid of that. And you just want to add enough so it becomes almost like a wet sand consistency, so you can see when I mix my sugar in it's nice and moist, there are no dry bits kind of running throughout.

And just a little bit of corn syrup, and what that corn syrup is going to do is A, keep our sugar from crystallizing, which means nay little dry bits of sugar that kind of remain on the sides of the pan can kind of crystallize and harden up your caramel sauce. The corn syrup is going to keep it from doing that. So I'm just going to stir in a little bit of that and we're going to bring this to a boil on the stove.

The one thing you never want to do is stir your caramel, you want to leave it sitting on the stove, we don't want to activate any of those little dry bits to crystallize our caramel sauce, so we're just going to come to a boil and as it boils and thickens it's going to take on a caramelized color, hence, our caramel.

All right, so my caramel's been boiling, and in any other case, smoke would be a bad sign but when you're making caramel that smoke kind of sensation is exactly what we're looking for. Caramel, by definition, is burnt sugar. So you can see that this caramel, this sugar is not burnt. But it is a nice amber, kind of golden color. And that's exactly what we're looking for. So just to finish this off, I'm going to add the two tablespoons of heavy cream. Just a little bit.

And it is going to bubble up so make sure if you're doing this with anybody who's a little bit clumsy that they kind of step back, just add in a little bit and give it a stir. And you can see it's kind of bubbling up and coming together. And a little bit more heavy cream. So what that heavy cream is doing is kind of loosening things up.

If I were to take that caramel and just use it straight away I would have something that ends up very, very hard. So that heavy cream is going to kind of soften it up just a little bit but not enough that it won't set up nice and firm the way we want it to.

But now you can see what that looks like. I'm just going to add a little pinch of salt, there's nothing more important for caramel than salt. And that's it, we have a beautiful caramel sauce. Look how beautiful that is. So that's how you make a homemade caramel.

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