View Full Version : old caramel recipe

02-23-2005, 06:34 AM
HELP....i amlooking for an old old recipe for making caramels. All i know about it is that it calls for cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk...still in the can. Don't know any details...anyone have this old recipe? How long to i cook the can of cm, and do i boil it simmer it or what? I would have thought the can would explode...is this a dangerous way to make caramels.

02-23-2005, 06:56 AM
What you are in fact looking for is the "easy" method of making Dulce de Leche. It won't really be caramels, it'll be a thick, delicious caramel sauce.

Here's the method. http://redvelvetcafe.com/condiments/milk_caramel_dulce_de_leche.php

Note that officially this is dangerous, but in practice, it is done by tons of people all the time. The only cautions are, first, do NOT allow the water level to drop below the top of the can, and second, do not attempt to open the can until it is completely, utterly, totally cool.

02-23-2005, 07:20 AM
No, Compass, I know that it is supposed to make Caramels....hard enough to be cut into little squares and wrapped in celophane. The girl that makes these won't part with the recipe! (notice i did not call her a friend...a friend would share!

02-23-2005, 08:13 AM
Here's a recipe that takes the milk out of the can (very dangerous thing to attempt)...

* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Candy

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup butter
few grains of salt
14 ounces can sweetened condensed milk
1 pound light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup nuts (optional) -- chopped

Use extra butter or margarine to grease a 9" square cake pan. Melt the 1 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and salt to butter and mix well. Add corn syrup and milk. Stir constantly until mixture boils. Reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 245 degrees or a small amount of the mixture forms a firm ball when dropped into cold water. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in the vanilla. Pour into one corner of prepared pan, letting mixture flow into its own level in the pan. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight.

Remove pan from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, before cutting into 3/4" squares with a serrated knife. Wrap each piece in clear transparent plastic wrap. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : For chocolate caramels just add 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened
chocolate with the milk. I use this recipe to make Turtles and Pecan

02-23-2005, 08:59 AM
sneezles, it sounds like a good recipe....have you ever tried it yourself? I'd still like to find the cooked inside the can ones!

02-23-2005, 09:51 AM
They strongly advise not to cook the milk in the can. The pressure inside the can increases with the heat and the hot can could explode -- a very big mess, and hot sticky that will not quickly fall away from your skin can cause very serious burns.

Wendy w
02-23-2005, 09:54 AM
I'm with Beth on this. Several years ago, a friend of mine tried to make ariquipe (sp? a South American carmelized dessert pronounced are-ah-kee-pay) using this technique, forgot about it and had it everywhere, and it stayed on the ceiling for ages.

Sheila in MD
02-23-2005, 09:59 AM
These are not made in the can but are quick and IMHO very tasty! They do use sweetened condensed milk.

Sheila in MD

Microwave Nutty Caramels (also caramel for dipping pretzels!)

These are wonderful and easy homemade caramels. I would think the caramel itself would be great for those dipped pretzels-rolled in nuts and drizzeled with chocolate-ooohh!

Nutty Caramels
1 (1 pound) box dark brown sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butter
1 teas. vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup pecans, chopped
Coombine first four ingredients in two quart microwave safe container. [Lana's note: THIS IS NOT BIG ENOUGH. Use a bigger container if you don't want a mess.] Microwave uncovered on high for five minutes, stirring once. Remove from microwave and with electric mixer, beat well. Return to microwave and cook on high for 10-12 minutes, stirring three times during the cooking period. The mixture is done cooking when 1/4 teaspoon is dropped in cold water and it forms a firm ball or the mixture reaches 248 on a candy thermometer.

Stir in vanilla.

Butter a 13 x 9 pan and sprinkle 1/2 the nuts over the bottom. Pour the caramel mixture over the nuts and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Cool and cut into one inch pieces.

02-23-2005, 11:23 AM
sharfow, what you describe sounds like it was just cooked in the can long enough for the condensed milk to solidify. I've eaten it when it had been cooked that long, and it would be possible to form the dulce de leche into caramels--it wasn't a liquid any more. I was only a consumer of it, not the maker, but I think it was cooked for 3 hours. The idea behind cooking it in the can is that when it is completely submerged in water the contents of the can cannot get any hotter than boiling water and can't explode. Of course, it would be easy to forget to keep checking that it was still covered, like Wendy's friend, and you would have a kitchen disaster. There is also the method of cooking it in an open pan in the oven to make dulce de leche. I suppose it would solidify too if cooked long enough.

Editing to say that according to the eGullet thread CompassRose posted below, the can should be simmered 4 to 5 hours, not 3.

02-23-2005, 11:39 AM
Here, just for interest's sake, is a long thread from eGullet (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=36432&hl=dulce+leche+condensed+milk) about the various ways of making Dulce de Leche, including the whole-can method, and a microwave method, and the original cook-from-scratch method... See Page 2 for comparative pictures.

Also, and I caution you before you enter, some deliciously evil suggestions for the use of said Dulce de Leche when you are done, including some that you may not have thought of. If you look, do not blame me! :D