Feb 15, 2014 9:52:00 AM
Caramel is a magical food. It has such simple ingredients and yet is one of the towering pillars of confectionary prowess, making up some of our most beloved candies, cakes and chocolates. It can transform desserts as a sauce or stand alone as a chewy delight, which is not unlike its favorite friend, chocolate.
Caramel is its most basic form has two ingredients- sugar and heat, and the second “ingredient” is more the method of cooking than an actually addition. Some recipes for caramel call for water as well, but even then… it’s a simple recipe that takes practice to perfect. Thankfully, sugar is a fairly inexpensive ingredient.
The science behind caramel is surprisingly complicated, despite the minimal ingredients. In laymen’s terms, heat melts the crystalline bonds of sugar, creating a liquid. But… in technical terms, there are almost a dozen major chemical reactions that occur when sugar turns to caramel, including: an equilibration of anomeric and ring forms, sucrose inversion to fructose and glucose, condensation reactions, intramolecular bonding, isomerization of aldoses and ketoses, dehydration reactions, fragmentation reactions, and unsaturated polymer formations. But enough about that… let’s talk about the sweeter aspects of caramel!
At Dallmann’s Fine Chocolates, we use caramel in a wide variety of ways. If you’ve shopped with us before, then you’re probably well acquainted with our best-selling Fleur de Sel (Sea Sale Caramel), which our chocolatier makes from scratch in our own kitchen. But there are several other caramel selections you may not have tried yet!
The Spicy Passion truffle combines passion fruit and togarashi for a taste that has been likened to fireworks in your mouth; a little spicy, a little sweet, unique and delicious. Another flavor is our Rosewater Caramel, which has the delicate floral notes of rose with the smooth sweetness of caramel and dark chocolate.
The latest additions to our caramel family are our trio of dessert sauces! We have a Fleur de Sel, Lavender and Sea Salt, and Passion fruit! Each is a unique sauce that has a wide variety of uses, including the usual- ice cream and fruit toppings, to more adventurous ideas like incorporation into cakes, pies, frosting, and even in your coffee! The possibilities are endless, and each new flavor combination is an adventure for your taste buds. Hot or cold, as a sauce or as a dessert by itself, caramel is amazing!