How to Soften Caramel? Tested Tips and Recipe

Caramel is a sweet brownish liquid made using sugar, water, and dextrose. Caramel color can vary from light brown to a darker shade, depending on the sugar you have used. The thick textured syrup is a crucial ingredient in many desserts, ice-creams, cakes, puddings, and chocolates. In addition, many people like to make caramel sauce at home to use it as a dressing for their sweet dishes. However, one common problem people face is how to soften hard caramel

But there are ways you can soften the rock-hard caramel and revive its actual texture. If you have faced the problem of hard caramel and have ended up throwing them in the trash, here are some top tips for you. Keep reading till the end to learn the techniques and note down the perfect caramel recipe we have shared. 

How Did Caramel Get Popular?

The history of caramel is a bit mysterious. According to some Arabs, they discovered caramel around 1000 A.D. The caramel Arabs made were crunchy and crystallized. They prepared the sweet with boiling water and sugar. 

People in America started making caramel around 1650. They achieved the soft gooey texture by adding milk and fat in the original recipe. Since then, the recipe has undergone changes, and caramel is now available in different forms and textures. 

Caramel syrup or caramel sauce is a popular ingredient used in various sweet dishes. One of the problems people face is that it tends to get rock hard very quickly. But don’t worry, you don’t have to remake the sauce. There are ways you can soften hard caramel, and we will tell you how in the following sections. 

How to Soften Caramel: Tried and Tested Tips

How to Soften Caramel

Moisture determines the texture of caramel. When the moisture is evaporated in the cooking procedure, it becomes harder and gets crystallized as it cools down completely. So what do you do when your caramel reaches this stage? Here are the solutions:

  • Softening Caramel That Is Too Hard 

Method 1: Microwave the caramel 

Using the microwave, you can bring the original caramel texture back within minutes; here is how you can do it- 

  1. Take the caramel in a covered container and place it inside the microwave. 
  2. Add around two tablespoons of milk to it. 
  3. Now leave the container on high heat for about 30 to 40 seconds.
  4. The caramel should be softened by now. If not, repeat the process. 

Method 2: Use a Stove

Steps you have to follow while softening the caramel on the stove-

  1. Take the hard caramel on a slow cooker 
  2. Cook it for one hour on high flame or 6 hours on medium heat. 
  3. Then allow it to cool down before transferring the caramel into a container. 
  • Softening Crystallized Caramel 

Softening the crystallized caramel is too tricky. Once they turn into the glassy chunk, there are very few chances of returning them to their original texture. We have found very few methods of reviving the caramel back into the creamy, smooth texture you have searched for. Here is how they work- 

You will have to add more liquids like milk or cream into the crystallized sugar. While adding the milk or cream, make sure that you are whisking it continuously till it becomes smooth. If you stop whisking before reaching the desired consistency, the caramel will crystallize again within minutes. 

Crystallized caramel can also be softened in a microwave. All you’ve to do is microwave the caramel into a glass bowl until it gets smooth. But be careful not to heat it for too long as overheating can burn the caramel. 

  • How to Avoid Crystallization While Making the Caramel? 

Reaching the perfect consistency with caramel can be a little tricky, especially if you are a newbie in making it. But following a few careful measures, you can prevent the caramel from turning into hard rock. Want to know how? Check out these steps- 

  1. Heat the sugar on low heat and avoid stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. When the sugar dissolves, give it a mild stir and bring it to a boil. Don’t stir the syrup after boiling. 
  2. You can add a little apple vinegar or lemon juice into the sugar syrup. 
  3. You must carefully observe and occasionally stir to stop the caramel from turning hard. 

How to Store Caramel? 

If you want to make the caramel sauce or caramel candy in large quantities and preserve it for later use, you can do that. Your caramel will stay in perfect condition and retain its creamy, gooey texture following the proper storing procedure. 

  • Storing Caramel Sauce

You can store caramel sauce at room temperature for up to three days. Then, when the caramel cools down, transfer it into an airtight container and make sure it’s completely sealed.  

For prolonged storage, you can keep the caramel sauce in the freezer. It will stay in its best condition for up to three months. The storing procedure is the same. Transfer the caramel into an airtight container and keep it in the freezer. 

But storing the caramel in the freezer will make them hard, so you either heat it before using or leave the container at room temperature hours before using. 

  • Storing Caramel Candy 

You can also store homemade caramel candy. To do so, you have to wrap the candies individually in butter paper and place them in an airtight container. Now you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to a year. 

Caramel candies can be stored at room temperature as well. Just make sure that they do not come in contact with direct sunlight. 

Caramel Recipe 

How to Soften Caramel

Let’s wind up this guide with an original caramel recipe. Getting the ingredients, cooking flame, and cooking procedure right can make or break a deal. That’s why we thought of sharing an authentic caramel recipe with you. Here is how to make the most delicious creamy caramel- 

Ingredients 

  • 250 gms of powdered sugar 
  • 90 gms butter (room temperature)
  • 80 ml fresh heavy cream (room temperature)
  • One vanilla pod

Cooking Procedure

  1. Take a pan, pour the cream into it and start heating. 
  2. Split the vanilla into half and scrape the vanilla. Put both the scrapped vanilla and the pod into the cream and leave until the cream comes to a boil. 
  3. The cream will get infused with vanilla flavors. After the cream is boiled, remove the pod from it. 
  4. Now take a deep bottom pan, put the sugar in it, and stir only at intervals. 
  5. When the sugar completely melts and turns dark brown, switch off the gas. 
  6. Now pour the cream into the melted sugar and give it a nice stir until both the cream and sugar mix well. 
  7. Now again, boil the mixture until it reaches 120°. 
  8. At this stage, add the butter and mix well. 
  9. Pour the mixture into parchment paper and let it rest for at least 3 hours. 
  10. Now you can cut them into small cubes and enjoy!

Final Lines on How to Soften Caramel

Caramel is a versatile sweet that can be eaten as it is or used to enhance the taste of other dishes. But caramel is enjoyed best when its texture is right. Unfortunately, nobody will enjoy chewing on rock-hard sugary crystals; hence you have to be mindful about a few things while making it. 

But even if it gets hard, there are ways you can soften the hard caramel using the procedures we have mentioned above. Hopefully, they rescue your hard caramel, and you don’t have to throw it into the trash. 

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