Caramel is a candy made from two basic ingredients: sugar and water. By heating these ingredients to a high temperature (usually 235 to 245 degrees Fahrenheit), the water and sugar molecules rearrange through two chemical processes called isomerization and polymerization, and form a sticky sweet substance. To cut through this homemade candy evenly and cleanly, chill the caramels first.
Chill your caramel in the freezer for 20 minutes, or until slightly chilled to the touch.
Cover your carving board with wax paper. Remove your chilled caramel from the pan and place it on top of the waxed paper.
Run your knife under hot water until the blade is warm to the touch. Dry the knife with a clean kitchen towel. Spray your knife lightly with cooking spray. Do not use olive oil as this will drastically change the flavor of your candy.
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Score the top of your caramel before you cut. The desirable size is a 1-inch square.
Cut your caramel along the scored lines with a sharp clean cut. Press the tip of your knife into the side of the caramel farthest from you and draw the knife to you swiftly and evenly.
Line your pan with waxed paper before you pour the caramel in. This will make it easier to remove from the pan without destroying the shape of your candy.
- "Candymaking"; Ruth Kendrick, Pauline Atkinson; 1987
- "Candy Making Basics"; Evelyn Howe Fryatt; 1999.
Amara Mandeln lives in Berlin, where she has been working as a freelance writer since 2007. Mandeln’s writing on architecture and design has been featured in "Blue Moon" travel guides and on the website "European City." She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Bryn Mawr College.