Caramel is the result of cooking sucrose until it melts, which takes place at over 320°F (160°C). Blond caramel is obtained by reaching 320-338°F-(160-170°C), at 329-350°F (165-177°C) you have dark caramel. Beyond these temperatures the sugar burns becoming bitter and useless.
Blond caramel has a similar colour to acacia honey and remains semi-liquid. It is sometimes prepared in a bain-marie to reduce the risk of making the mixture darken too much, switching to dark caramel.
Dark caramel is very amber in colour and remains semi-liquid for a very short time, crystallizing as soon as it cools. It is used to line the cake moulds that require bain-marie baking. In this way the dark caramel penetrates the cake itself forming a sort of crust. Otherwise, it melts due to the heat into an amber-coloured liquid. Dark caramel is the base of sweets such as crunchy and praline dried fruit, but it is also used to create decorations.
HOW TO MAKE CARAMEL
Put the sugar in a saucepan and heat it over very low flame so that it does not stick to the bottom. During the preparation you do not have to stir but you can move the pot with circular movements until the caramel is liquid and amber-coloured.
Remove it immediately from the stove or it will become too dark and bitter. Use it quickly because it crystallizes almost immediately. If this happens, you can put it back on the stove to melt it again.
Your caramel is ready for use!
Below there are some examples of decoration created for our panna cotta recipe.