Sweet. creamy… caramel!

by | Sep 17, 2019 | CURIOSITY, RECIPES

The history of caramel

Caramel has been one of the most appreciated sweets for centuries. There are several ways to taste this delicious food made of sugar, for example on top of your ice cream or, as we do here at Emmepi Dolci, as a wonderful coffee biscuit.

The word “caramel “ comes from the French , but traces can be find in late Latin , with the word calamellus, which means stick of sugar.

Moreover, there are even older references in some Arabian languages, where we have the word kora-mokhalla, “sweet ball “.
It is no coincidence that some scholars still nowadays think caramel has actually its origin in ancient Arabia.

Anyway, the history of caramel as we now know it, is neither old not complicated. Sweets sellers have cooked together water and sugar in copper casseroles since the 17th century, thus creating one of the most famous hard candies in history. They were cheap, easy to make, long-lasting and easy to transport.

Only toward the half of the 19th century sweet producers realized that, adding sugar and fat ingredients to the traditional mix of cooked sugar, you can obtain a soft sweets, easy to chew.


First of all: which sugar should you use? The one you prefer. White, cane, whole sugar…there is a lot of choice. You can have fun and experiment different types of sugar, keeping in mind that, the more colorful the sugar, the more fragrant the caramel. You can also try with fructose  the caramelisation will be quicker and the final result much lighter.


Let’s make caramel.

Take a small pan, put sugar inside and start cooking at medium temperature. In order to distribute sugar evenly, slightly twirl the pan until sugar melts..

And here is the tip ! You should never mix, or you risk to spoil caramel. Sugar begins to be colored once it reaches boiling temperature. When it gets liquid, soak the bottom of the pan in cold water to stop caramelisation. If you wish, you can then add a small piece of butter or some drops of lemon juice.

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