The goodness of milk in a candy!
Gluten free , starch free, additive free caramel candy, kids love to eat. Surprisingly , loved by 40 somethings equally!
Little did I know that my overcooked condensed milk would set & taste like a perfect caramel candy. This recipe was born out of my desperation to save my overcooked condensed milk. Who knew they will be a hit like they turned out to be.
There are various recipes on the internet for making caramel candies. Most use corn syrup or brown rice syrup for the texture. I prefer to stay away from corn as well as brown rice . Corn is one of the most genetically modified grains. Brown rice is depleting. Many recipes make caramel candies using cream, butter and sugar. I have not tried that method as yet. Will update as and when I do.
This recipe that I am sharing is a very simple one using simple healthy ingredients. At the core of the recipe, it needs just Milk & Sugar & butter.
Use Milk and Sugar to make your home made condensed milk. And then use your condensed milk & butter to make your healthy caramel candies. You can make them in just one go also (Like I did when I made them for the first time). I prefer making these candies in two steps, spread over two days. I make my home made condensed milk the first day, and make the Caramel candies the next day. It allows time for me to attend well to my duties of a mother well.
Those who know me well, know that I am a compulsive taster. I keep tasting while the recipe is in progress, to the point of the skewing the output in terms of quantity :). When I made these candies for the first time, I did not taste them at all till they were packed. Somewhere I believed such a simple recipe couldn’t give great results. Silly me !
I urge each one of you to use A2 milk. A2 milk is the only road to good health. Read about A2 milk here.
These candies are really addictive;really chewy;and really yummy.
Since you are the confectionery chef here, you can decide how hard or soft your candy needs to be. By simply varying the cooking time, you can get harder or softer candies. They taste equally good either ways. Vanilla extract is optional. I did not use it 5 out of 6 times I made these. I feel the caramel is rich on it’s own and does not need an extra flavor.
Notes : Mistakes to avoid:
- In case you have overcooked, do not add milk or any other liquid . It will spoil the candies.They are very good even when they are very hard. This was my first lesson.They are just harder. Not less yummier. In fact some of my son’s friends liked the harder ones more.
- Do not use anything including butter, ghee, oil, moisture of any kind on your hands while shaping these candies. They change the entire texture. My Lesson # 2. Learnt after spoiling good 20 candies.:(
- Follow the home made condensed milk recipe and reach the final stage when the condensed milk is ready. No need to cool it down.
- Take a fresh heavy bottom pan. Add Butter and pour the condensed milk along with vanilla (if using).
- Follow the steps as specified below under ‘Gooey Chewy Caramel Candies:Using Condensed Milk’.
- Take a heavy bottom pan on medium low heat.
- Add butter and allow it to melt.
- Add home made condensed milk (or store bought). Add Vanilla if using. Turn heat to low. Stir continuously.
- Continue to stir , till the condensed milk starts coming together and starts leaving the sides of the pan. keep an eye on the color also. In the pic below, the condensed milk has turned darker and has started to leave the pan slightly. Continue till the condensed milk reduces further in quantity and turns darker. Right now it is light brown. I targetted medium brown.
- Continue till the condensed milk becomes thicker and darker to the point of medium to dark brown.Remove immediately and spread on butter paper or parchment paper.A silicon spatula is a big help at this stage.
- You can spread it evenly in a rectangular pan and cut into cubes or cuboids when they have hardened (while still a little soft). I case you find it difficult to cut as it sticks to the knife , you can roll them into soft balls or candies. They will harden as they cool. I cut them the first time since I had overcooked and the ‘dough’ was too hard to roll. Latern on each time I made these, I cooked them lesser and kept them a little soft . Rolled as shown.
- Cover with a small piece of butter paper and then the gift wrapping sheet cut in appropriate sizes.
Happy making caramel candies for your loved ones.