Confectionery is an art, based on the knowledge of countless details. Sometimes, one can fail to prepare a recipe successfully as a consequence of ignoring one of those details. One of them, may be ignoring the different stages of syrup.
Let’s start then with some tips.
Whenever the recipe does not state otherwise, prepare the syrup using one part of water every two parts of sugar.
Once you place the mixture over the heat, do not stir.
If, by any circumstance, you have gone past the syrup stage desired, you can add water and continue to heat until obtaining it again.
The different stages of syrup are:
It is obtained when you let the sugar boil in the water until it dissolves completely, for about 5 minutes.
You can recognize this stage when you take some syrup between your fingers and when removing it, it forms a thin, fragile thread.
This is recognized when removing some syrup from the bowl, it forms threads that do not break.
When you take a teaspoonful of syrup from the bowl and drop it into another bowl with cold water, it forms a soft ball which can be shaped up with the tip of your fingers. ( If you have a sweet thermometer, the temperature is between 235º and 240ºF /112º and 115ºC).
When you remove a teaspoonful of syrup and drop it into another bowl with cold water, syrup forms a hard ball, which cannot be shaped up between the fingers. With a sweet thermometer, the right temperature of this stage is between 250º and 266ºF/ 121º and125ºC.
When you keep heating syrup, it begins to get golden from the edges to the center of the mixture. Once it gets the colour desired, remove it from the heat and use it at once. With a sweet thermometer, the right temperature of this stage is between 300º and 310ºF/ 150 and 154ºC.
ANOTHER WAY OF OBTAINING CARAMEL
Another way to prepare caramel is by placing sugar in a saucepan and heating it over a moderate heat. In this case, you can stir it and once it gets the colour desired, remove from heat.