I cannot seem to get this caramel thing right for beans. I attempted another batch last night, this time doing the sugar syrup by itself, then adding the cream and butter. I did heat the sugar syrup to over 300°F – the particular recipe I was following had the base caramel recipe at the top, and then three variations. The first variation is the kind I have had most success with, initially heating to 245°F then going on to add the cream. The second variation is the one I tried, called “old-fashioned caramels,” and it said to heat the syrup to 310°F the add the cream. The bit that threw me off is that the base recipe at the top tells you how to do the base sugar syrup, and the variations tell you what to add to that. Unfortunately, I was following the base recipe a little too closely, because it says to heat the sugar syrup to 340°F initially – a good 30°F over what it should be. Guess who was watching Enterprise trying to not watch a pot of sugar boil? Me. I actually let it get high enough without me staring at it, only to realize I had gone past my mark. Mikal talked me into finishing this batch because it couldn’t hurt. He had already bottled up the first fail batch of sauce to use in dinner tonight, and said that if it fails we will simply have more caramel in jars.
I went ahead, and it looked last night like it might actually turn out…. The top of it was actually firming to the touch. It is still somewhat firm to the touch on top, but it just didn’t set. I keep forgetting to do the ice bath test since a couple of batches ago. I guess it’s a good thing I bought more whipping cream last night.