The actual measurement of the caramel sauce is 50g sugar : 20g water. I divided it to 17g of sugar to 7g of water, but after following the necessary procedures the mixture doesn't boil, and nor does it thicken. Why is it so? I boiled for almost 30 minutes in medium heat though. Also, caramel sauce is supposed to be thickened by concentration right?

(This is the link to the procedure that I had used to make caramel sauce.)

2 Answers 2


Sugar "boils" at a temperature much higher than water. The water is there just to get things started, so you don't burn the non-melted sugar directly in contact with the pan at. Within a few minute the water will have evaporated, and all you have left is liquid sugar

Use a candy thermometer and slowly raise the temperature until you get the sugar colour and flavour you want

When it cools it will thicken, or become solid, depending on how high you heated it. It is not just a time thing, it is the maximum temperature your reached

Caramelisation with happen around 170°C (340°F) depending on what type of sugar you use. Caramel sauce usually requires the addition of a fat like cream

  • The caramel sauce didnt work out because 1.the heat isnt high enough? 2. the amount of sugar and water are too little? Jun 22, 2014 at 7:24
  • @mylifeisalie Can't tell why from the little information you have given, Would at least need to know what temperature you brought it too, and how accurate your thermometer is?
    – TFD
    Jun 22, 2014 at 9:50
  • ..The kitchen that i was using does not have a thermometer, and I did not even know that the temperature must be above the boiling point of water. I heated the saucepan at medium at first but the sauce did not seem to boil for a period of time (30mins) so I increased the heat to maximum. Yes it did boil afterwards, I then transfer the sauce to a small cup. Waited for it to cool and thicken, BUT the viscosity of the sauce was really really low. @TFD Jun 22, 2014 at 17:26
  • You need a thermometer for sugar. It's a time and temp thing
    – TFD
    Jun 22, 2014 at 19:55

I am curious, what kind of vessel are you using for this procedure?

I notice that you are working with very small measures here. 24 g of liquid will coat a normal sized pan in a film-thin layer. I cannot imagine this behaving well, or being controllable at all.

The original amount would be doable in a 12 cm "buttermelter" saucepan. The amount you chose will probably not function in anything larger than a muffin cup, ca. 6cm. And I don't know if you can even get individual muffin cup nowadays, they get sold welded into tins.

Basically, when you make candy, try having at least 1 cm of depth of the liquid when you pour it into the heating vessel. Anything else is practically impossible to work with.

If your problem was only the thinness, I would expect it to scorch quickly, maybe too quickly for you to see it going through a boil. But if it had scorched, I expect that you would have mentioned it. Your question is worded as if nothing seems to happen in your pan. If this is the case, then your temperature is too low. "Medium high" is not a meaningful direction unless you are so good at making the food in question that you can predict its behavior at different temperatures, and can adjust the temperature so it behaves such that it is at a bit above the middle of the heat range it can tolerate. This does not correspond to a specific setting of a stove, but varies between stove brands, batch sizes, pan types, etc. Just forget it and use a candy thermometer, as TFD suggested.

  • Which of course he can't do (use a candy thermometer) if he has a depth of product of a millimeter.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 15, 2014 at 13:06
  • @jolene indeed. But this is not the main problem with the shallow preparation: 1) if he can take the temperature, it is still uncontrollable, he will probably overshoot the needed temperature because it heats too quickly with such a small thermal mass in relation to the surface area pouring energy in. 2) if he could stop it at the right time, he has no chance scraping it out, it only works for giving caramel taste to a liquid which is poured into the caramelizing pan (which may be the case here, but is unusual in candy making). And 3), he actually can measure it with an infrared gun then.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 15, 2014 at 13:16
  • In a medium saucepan (200 to 250 mm) you can melt 3 TBS of sugar with just 1 tsp of water on a typical stove, on the medium to medium high heat. Do not stir, just tilt the pan to get an even melt. This gives you a liquid layer about 3 mm thick. I use a candy thermometer fine with a thin layer
    – TFD
    Jun 16, 2014 at 7:22

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