By caramel I mean caramelised sugar made into a sauce with butter.

What is the best way to make a caramel sauce if only a tiny quantity is required? What is the smallest amount of sugar that is practical to start with?

For making a very small amount, the 'dry' method where one just heats the sugar alone seems tricky: I find the sugar burns and hardens into burnt sugar/toffee very easily. The 'wet' method where one adds water to moisten (maybe 1/3 sugar to water by weight) has also given me poor results: some sugar gets burned while the rest is still dissolved. Adding the butter right at the start seems to work better, but I find it's hard to get a really rich caramel taste this way: it's more a sweetened butter sauce.

1 Answer 1


You make small amounts the same way you make large amounts: dry or wet, doesn't matter, take your preference.

The problems you have are related not to the method, but to the wrong vessel. For example, for the dry method, you have to have the sugar neither too thick, nor too thin. For small amounts of caramel, you have to go with a small pot, possibly go down to 12 or even 8 cm (at least that's what works for me; if by "tiny" you really mean something like a tablespoon of caramel sauce, you might have to use a tiny vessel, like a muffin tin or a single portion cezve). The other desired quality is to have a vessel which provides even, measured heating, so a thick heavy bottom is always preferable.

Also make sure to use the right temperature, "sugar gets burned while the rest is still dissolved" sounds like you might be using too high heat.

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