Caramel is one of the most delicious sweets known to mankind, with its incredible taste and texture frequently found complementing candies, cookies, coffees, and even fruit. Cooking your own caramel sauce at home is relatively easy, providing hundreds of opportunities to dip, coat, and drizzle the sugary mixture to your heart's content. What many people fail to realize when making caramel at home, however, is the significant textural difference the confection has when cooked at different temperatures.
Drizzling caramel, for instance, is best when cooked to a soft and liquidy state of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas firm but chewy caramel, perfect for coating apples and serving as an adhering bond for countless delicious toppings, is best cooked to a more solid state of 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the temperature difference may seem minor, the extra 25 degrees makes a monumental difference regarding the structural integrity of the mixture after briefly cooling.
Once you learn to master the art of cooking your caramel to a specific temperature, you can easily utilize the different textures to create a number of delightful candies and spreads. After all, nobody wants an apple with a few smatterings of liquidy caramel rolling off the sides, nor a bowl of ice cream with thick, chewy chunks of caramel hardening in the bowl.
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Other Tasty Foods To Pair With Caramel Apples
Per the experts at Southern Caramel, the delicious treat has origins in many cultures and dates back centuries. This means that caramel has a wide variety of perfect pairings, ranging from sweets and candies to nuts, pretzels, and even popcorn. Of course, caramel apples are a fan favorite combination often associated with the fall months, which allow for endless customization when crafting them at home.
To really take your caramel apples to the next level this autumn, try sprinkling them with M&M's, crushed cookies, or bits of toffee while the caramel is still in a state of cooling, allowing the complex flavors to permeate the snack. If you're sharing these treats with your children, it may also be helpful to cut the caramel apples into slices, or construct a bar for apple customization. Caramel is a highly malleable and super versatile treat, sure to enhance a wide variety of snacks and desserts. Feel free to experiment by cooking your caramel to a wide range of temperatures, ranging from 220 to 245 degrees Fahrenheit, and see what concoctions you can craft!
Read the original article on Mashed.