Baking Tips: Caramel

oh caramel- I love thee as much as I love chocolate and the two of you, just .. oo la la! Horrible for my waistline.

This week’s tip comes from my friend and fellow avid baker…….. drumroll!….. Tina!!!!! This was something important that we learned while making the St. Honore cake at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Just imagine lots of cream, puff pastry, circled with cream puffs dipped in caramel and you’re there. In heaven.

Caramel used to scare me but after you make it a bajillion times, you find there was nothing really to be scared of in the first place.

dulce de leche tart

There are all different ways of making caramel: Dry with just sugar (oh yes!), sugar/butter/cream, sugar/cream, a pinch of salt and some vanilla here and there, and even with a ton of milk and sugar and then letting it simmer away until the two caramelize.

What applies to all! Tina’s tip: Take caramel off the heat before it reaches your desired color! For the St. Honore we actually took the caramel off the heat  maybe a couple seconds after it started turning a beautiful caramel color. It was light, but the color will continue to develop in the pot after you take it off the heat.

Here’s another interesting tip: Going for a deep caramel? The point of no return caramel? Well, there actually is a point of no return.  Watch it very very carefully and you will see a very thin string of smoke come up. A couple seconds more and you have burned caramel, or you’ve added the cream as soon as you saw the smoke, it’s bubbled up and you have an awesome dark thick caramel. You might have also added in a little chocolate too at this point that melted as you stirred it into the caramel. whoa I’ll stop! drooling.


Got a tip? I’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below or send me a message and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post!

4 thoughts on “Baking Tips: Caramel”

  • haha so true!! Let it soak in hot water and the sugar will dissolve and it’s a cinch to clean.

  • Looks gorgeous, Molly! I love caramel…do you have a favorite recipe you can share? I’ve only know the “fake” easy way with sweetened condensed milk. Would love a recipe from a pastry chef! 🙂

  • Well as a matter of fact I do! Several actually! Caramel used to really scare me but after school and making it a ton of times, I’ve got it down! You can actually make a super simple caramel by just using a dry saucepan, adding granulated sugar and heating it until it starts to melt and caramelize. I’ll share a recipe in an upcoming post with more tips. 😀

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