Caramel making equipment

When pâtissiers talk about caramelization, they might be talking about the caramelization of dry sugar, which typically starts at 160 degrees Celsius, which is the boiling point of sugar. When this happens, the sugar molecules break down and produce deep caramel flavors.

In addition to caramelization, the Maillard reaction can also yield caramel-like flavors. Product made this way are also called caramel. The Maillard reaction involves the interaction between sugar and proteins in the product. This reaction occurs in milk-based ingredients, providing a protein source combined with sugar for the Maillard reaction and enhancing caramel flavors. The Maillard reaction begins at around 115 degrees Celsius and needs time to develop its characteristic flavors.

The necessary equipment for crafting caramel

The process of making caramel involves mixing sugars, proteins and fats and heating them to develop the caramel's distinct flavor and color through the Maillard reaction. This procedure requires precise control over both mixing and heating.  For this the Tanis Caramel Equipment is you way to go.

The following equipment is recommended:

  • Premix preparation vessel
  • Fat melter
  • Maillard Reactor
  • Film Cooker
  • Dynamic mixer (flavor & nuts)

Premix preparation

The process begins with a premix vessel equipped with a high shear mixer that efficiently disperses all powdered ingredients, like milk powder, sugar, salt and sodium bicarbonate.

Fat melter

Often solid fats are used. These fats can be molten with help of a Fat Melter, from where the liquid fat can be dosed into the premix preparation vessel.

Maillard Reactor

Besides the premix preparation, the browning of the caramel is of importance. In the Tanis Maillard reactor the caramel gets the required temperature and the optimal holding time to develop its characteristic flavor and brownish color. The caramelization reaction can occur either at atmospheric pressure or under increased pressure. Under pressure, caramelization occurs more rapidly, enhancing efficiency. Typically steam jacketed batch cooker like vessels are preferred for making caramel because they allow for precise control of temperature and dry solids content. Additionally, these systems can maintain the mixture at a high temperature for a set period, enabling the creation of the perfect caramel texture and taste.

Film Cooker

A film cooker is also part of the process, because it allows precise temperature control, while relates the right dry solids content of the caramel candy mass. The film cooker allows quick and efficient heating. During this additional cooking step the desired dry solid content is easily reached within minutes.

Dynamic Mixer

Following the initial cooking phases, another advanced mixing step may be introduced to incorporate additional ingredients. The processed caramel can be mixed with for example flavors or nuts and then be used in various applications.

Applications

The finished caramel candy mass can be layered onto a bar line to produce caramel bars, deposited using a depositor for individual caramels, or combined with other confections like nougat or cookies.

This versatility highlights the numerous possibilities for utilizing high-quality caramel in confectionery production.

Types of candy molds for caramel making

Determining the shape of your caramel confectionery product is crucial. A bar line process can produce caramel bars or squares, while a depositor allows for more intricate shapes, such as round domes. These dome-shaped caramels can also serve as centers for chocolate-coated dragees.

Molds are essential for shaping and portioning caramel into specific sizes and shapes. Depositors accurately place the right amount of caramel into molds. These molds are available in various materials, including polycarbonate, Teflon-coated metal, or silicone, each chosen for its durability and temperature resistance to handle hot caramel.

Precise monitoring of temperature and dry solid content is vital when depositing caramel into molds. For caramels that are formed rather than deposited, the dry solid content is typically higher to facilitate shaping.

In addition to molded caramels, caramel is frequently incorporated into layered confectionery products, such as candy bars. In these applications, a slab of caramel is layered over a base, such as a cookie or nougat. This caramel is still prepared using the described equipment, but once ready, it is processed on a bar line where the slab is formed. The final characteristics of the caramel can be varied by adjusting the ingredients; for example fat content, the duration of the caramelization process and dry solid contents, which allows for the customization of the caramel's texture and flavor according to specific product requirements.

 

How to use a candy thermometer for caramel making?

Temperature control is critical in confectionery production. The duration that caramel ingredients are held at a specific temperature influences the development of the caramel's brownish color and its flavor notes. Keeping the caramel at a slightly higher temperature for 15 minutes could result in a dramatically different flavor profile. Similarly, cooking the mixture just 1 degree higher can increase the dry solid content, resulting in a firmer texture. Therefore, precise temperature measurement is crucial in the caramel-making process.

The temperature probe should be immersed in the caramel mass to provide a constant and accurate reading. Typically, this probe also acts as a control point for the heating source—whether steam or electric induction—to ensure the caramel consistently follows the same time-temperature profile. This consistency is key to achieving uniform flavor, color, and texture in the caramel.

Using a candy thermometer correctly involves more than just monitoring the temperature; it’s about actively managing the heat source based on the readings. Here are a few additional tips:

Calibration: Before using the thermometer, ensure it is calibrated. You can do this by placing it in boiling water and checking that it reads 212°F (100°C). Adjust if necessary.

Placement: Place the thermometer so that the tip is in the deepest part of the caramel without touching your heat source. This helps in getting the most accurate reading.

Reading and Adjusting: Constantly monitor the thermometer during cooking and adjust the heat source accordingly. This allows for fine control over the cooking process and helps prevent burning or undercooking the caramel.

By following these practices, you can ensure your caramel achieves the desired texture and flavor characteristics consistently.

Precise temperature control is essential when making caramel, and a candy thermometer can help achieve this, resulting in delicious, consistent caramel. Temperature and cooking time significantly affect the final color, flavor, and texture of caramel.

Choosing the right candy thermometer

When selecting the right candy thermometer for making caramel, there are several key factors to consider. First, ensure that the thermometer's temperature range and accuracy align with your caramel-making process. A thermometer with a range from room temperature to at least 400°F (200°C) is ideal. Pay attention to quality and durability to ensure long-term use, and choose a model that is easy to clean for convenience. Additionally, consider the price and find a thermometer that fits within your budget. The Tanis Batch Cookers already come equipped with a suitable thermometer in the form of a hygienic temperature probe within the vessel.

Ready to step up your caramel game?

Tanis is highly skilled in blending the necessary ingredients for caramel and then heating them to the optimal temperature to achieve the desired brownish color and develop the caramel flavor notes. This process begins with a premix vessel equipped with a high shear mixer that efficiently disperses all powdered ingredients. The Tanis Maillard reactor then heats the caramel to the required temperature and has the optimal holding time to develop its required flavor and color. By placing this reactor under pressure, we can accelerate this process.

Subsequent steps include additional cooking to reach the desired dry solid content. Several types of cookers are available that can achieve high dry solids content within minutes. Following this, additional ingredients may be blended in, and then the caramel is shaped using either a depositing technique or a barline technique. Tanis provides comprehensive solutions for all these processes, ensuring efficient and consistent caramel production.

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