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Caramel recipe using agave syrup?
Posted: 02 July 2008 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Bit o Honey
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I was actually going to try and send an email on this, but this is the perfect opportunity to ask… does anyone know or think agave syrup would work in place of corn syrup for making chewy caramel? I’m thinking specifically of this recipe:

http://www.typetive.com/candyblog/item/grandmas_caramels/

It’s just so much easier for me to get agave syrup than it is either non-high fructose corn syrup or rice syrup. Fingers crossed here… I’ve had no luck with google so far.

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Posted: 02 July 2008 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I’m really curious to hear how that turns out.

From what I’ve seen Agave Syrup is just a little thinner (more water) than corn syrup. So that may mean that the first boil of just the syrup and sugar takes longer to reach the desired temp as the water evaporates.

I’m not sure what the sugar makeup of Agave Syrup is, I think it’s more fructose than glucose, but it should still work fine (chemically speaking).

Just out of curiosity, how is the price of agave compared to other syrups (obviously corn syrup is one of the cheapest sugars out there)?

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Posted: 02 July 2008 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Bit o Honey
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Opinions seem to vary, if you go to the wiki on it:

Agave syrup consists primarily of fructose and glucose. One source gives 92% fructose and 8% glucose; another gives 56% fructose and 20% glucose. These differences presumably reflect variation from one vendor of agave syrup to another.

I order my organic agave syrup in bulk so I get it at about $3.20 /16 oz… still more than your average bottle of Karo, but not bad. Also our local discount chain Ocean State Job lots will sometimes have small bottles of the Madhava organic agave (11.75oz) for about $3 a piece.

I might just have to give it a go with boiling longer, if the darn weather will dry out long enough.

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Posted: 07 July 2008 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I say try it and see. I bake with agave all the time; in general it’s sweeter than its other liquid sweetener counterparts; in baked goods it tends to make things brown quicker but that shouldn’t affect you here. most agave syrups available in stores are made mostly of fructose.

because it is just a tiny bit thinner, you could boil it longer, as mentioned; or, since it is sweeter (compared measure to measure) than corn syrup, you could reduce the amount you use, then it probably would not take any longer to evaporate the desired amount of water. maybe try using 3/4 of the amount called for corn syrup?

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Posted: 11 July 2008 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Bit o Honey
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I gave it a go, and it looks like it works just fine - except for some small details.

Either my stove runs hotter, or I prefer a lighter caramel because I found it turned out rather dark with too much of a burnt sugar flavor to it. I didn’t outright burn anything, but it wasn’t ideal.

What I might do next time is cook it on lower heat and for longer to let the thinner agave boil down enough.

Still, the good news is that agave seem viable, with a longer cook time. I had no trouble getting it to soft ball stage.

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Posted: 06 August 2008 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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glad it worked- something I thought of just now: agave comes in light and dark versions; perhaps you used the darker variety? it also causes baked goods to brown more quickly when baking in the oven so most recipes suggest turning down the temperature and/or watching the baking time closely- perhaps this property is somewhat related to agave giving your caramel the darker flavor. sounds like heating over more moderate temperature might help.

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Posted: 06 August 2008 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I’d used the light agave, but you’re right, I think I needed to cook on a lower temperature than called for. It’ll take longer next time, but it’s much easier for me to get than the non-HF corn syrup. smile

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