Caramel is useful in fruit desserts as a coating in the base of a mould before putting in the fruit. When unmoulded the top of the dessert will be just golden.
- Use a heavy-bottomed pan 15cm in diameter.
- Put in water and sugar.
- When the sugar has melted, heat over a moderate flame, watching all the time. To start with you will see little difference in the trembling of the liquid, but after about 10 mins the bubbles will become more dense and the syrup will thicken. Take the pan by its handle and rotate gently so that the syrup cooks evenly. From then on the syrup will continue to thicken. Watch the colour change from a light gold to a darker gold (do not allow to blacken). Turn off the heat when the caramel is golden brown – it is now ready for use.
Turn the caramel into the mould and coat the base evenly by turning it - this must be done quickly as caramel does not take long to harden.
- If the caramel is not to be used immediately you can ‘stop’ it by adding a tbsp of cold water or 50gr of butter cut into dice ( as used in a tarte tatin for example).
- Another use for caramel is to make an icing. Here you replace the water with the same quantity of cream and cook in the same way, then add butter. Once the cake has been iced, wait for an hour or so till the surface is firm and smooth.