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The other day I was making flan and decided to try palm sugar instead of white sugar to make the caramel.

Although palm sugar is better than white in a lot of ways, the melting point of the sugar seems to be a lot closer to the burning point. Needless to say, I ended up with a black pool in seconds.

Does anyone have any suggestions to help control the temperature to keep it from burning?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've used this palm sugar caramel recipe before without problems. It uses about 25% honey as well as the sugar.

  • 17oz palm sugar
  • 4.25 oz Honey
  • 14 oz heavy cream

As soon as the sugars get to 320 ℉ (160 ℃), take the pan off the heat and deglaze it with the cream. If you let it sit on the heat any longer, it will burn. After adding the cream simply cook it again until it reaches 250 ℉ (122 ℃). Then, remove it from the heat, pour it into your prepared form, and let it cool to room temperature.

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I followed hobodaves recipe and it was excellent. I wanted something that would be nearly liquid at refrigerator temperature and used about 3 more oz of cream. I made the recipe twice. The first time I went to about 304F and the flavor my wife said was burnt. I thought it was perfect and had a flavor close to past it's prime, but very rich. The second time I went to about 301F and it made a caramel with the flavor of a Weurthers. I liked the first one better but it's up to your preference. –  Rc1273 Jul 1 at 12:34

A double boiler will heat more evenly, and you can turn down the heat on the eye as low as you want as long as you are still producing steam, and cooking the flan in a water bath will also chill the heat out. To my knowledge, palm sugar has a low melt point and high burn point with the only real diffrence the fact that it has more non water soluble bits that processed white sugar. Not a pastry chef though, and I have rarely used the stuff myself (mainly due to cost issues)

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