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Caramel (/ˈkærəmɛl/ and /ˈkɑrməl/ and /ˈkɑrəmɛl/) refers to a range of confections that are beige to dark brown in color, derived from the caramelization of one or several types of sugars, often occurring in the traditional cooking method of a sweet. Caramel can provide the flavor in puddings and desserts, a filling in candies, or a topping for custards and ice creams.
Caramel is made by heating sugar slowly to around 170°C/338°F. As the sugar melts and approaches this temperature, the molecules break down into volatile compounds with a characteristic caramel color and flavor. A variety of candies, confections, and desserts are made with caramel and its products: caramel apples, barley sugar, caramel with nuts (such as praline, nougat, or brittle), and caramel with custard (such as crème caramel or crème brûlée).
Caramel coloring in contrast is a dark unsweetened liquid, the highly concentrated product of near total caramelization that is bottled for commercial and industrial use. Beverages, such as cola use caramel coloring, and it is also used as a food colorant. On labels in the EU, it is called E150.
Caramel also refers to a soft, dense, chewy, caramel-flavored candy made by boiling milk, sugar, butter, vanilla essence, water, and glucose or corn syrup. Caramel candy is not heated above the firm ball stage (no more than 120°C/248°F), which would cause caramelization.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Caramel". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|