Caramel (pronounced /ˈkærəmɛl/ or /ˈkɑrməl/) refers to a range of confections that are beige to dark brown in color, derived from the caramelization of one or several types of sugars, often occurring in the traditional cooking method of a sweet. Caramel can provide the flavor in puddings and desserts, a filling in candies, or a topping for custards and ice creams.

Caramel is made by heating sugar slowly to around convert|170|°C|lk=on|abbr=on. As the sugar melts and approaches this temperature, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic caramel color and flavor. A variety of candies, confections, and desserts are made with caramel and its products: caramel apples, barley sugar, caramel with nuts (such as praline, nougat, or brittle), and caramel with custard (such as crème caramel or crème brûlée).

Caramel coloring in contrast is a dark unsweetened liquid, the highly concentrated product of near total caramelization that is bottled for commercial and industrial use. Beverages such as cola use caramel coloring, and it is also used as a food colorant. On labels in the EU, it is called E150.


"Main article: Caramelization"

Caramelization is the removal of water from a sugar, proceeding to isomerization and polymerization of the sugars into various high-weight compounds. Compounds such as difructose-anhydride may be created from the monosaccharides after water loss. Fragmentation reactions result in low- molecular-weight compounds which may be volatile and may contribute to flavor. Polymerization reactions lead to larger molecular weight compounds which contribute to dark caramel color [] .

Caramel candy

Caramel also refers to a soft, dense, chewy, caramel-flavored candy made by boiling milk, sugar, butter, vanilla essence, water, and glucose or corn syrup. Caramel candy is not heated above the firm ball stage, i.e. no more than convert|120|°C. This is not high enough to cause more than negligible caramelization. This type of candy is often called milk caramel.

ee also

* Dulce de leche, caramelized sweetened condensed milk
* Tablet (confectionery)
* Butterscotch a hard candy with a different flavor than caramel
* Toffee a hard, sometimes chewy candy often made with nuts
* Dodol a caramelized coconut milk confection
* Caramel apple an apple dipped in a soft caramel, sometimes coated in nuts
* Carambar, a brand of caramel candy bar

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  • caramel — [ karamɛl ] n. m. • 1680; port. caramelo, par l esp. caramel(o) « sucre fondu »; probablt du bas lat. calamellus, de calamus « roseau » 1 ♦ Produit brun, brillant, aromatique, de la déshydratation du sucre par la chaleur. L odeur du caramel.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • caramel — CARAMÉL, carameluri, s.n. Produs de culoare brună roşcată solubil în apă, obţinut prin încălzirea şi deshidratarea zahărului şi folosit în cofetărie, la colorarea unor băuturi sau a unor alimente şi la prepararea plăcilor fotografice. – Din it.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Caramel — bezeichnet: geschmolzenen Zucker, siehe Karamell Caramel (Film), libanesisch französischer Film von Nadine Labaki (2007) Siehe auch: Crème caramel, Süßspeise Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • caramel — CARAMEL. s. m. Sucre fondu et durci. Le caramel est bon pour le rhume. Cerises au caramel …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Caramel — Car a*mel, n. [F. caramel (cf. Sp. caramelo), LL. canna mellis, cannamella, canamella, calamellus mellitus, sugar cane, from or confused with L. canna reed + mel, mellis, honey. See {Cane}.] 1. (Chem.) Burnt sugar; a brown or black porous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caramel — 1725, from Fr. caramel burnt sugar (17c.), ultimately from M.L. cannamellis, traditionally from L. canna (see CANE (Cf. cane)) + mellis honey; though some give the M.L. word an Arabic origin …   Etymology dictionary

  • Carămel — (fr.), 1) bei hoher Temperatur bis zur Bräunung geschmolzener Zucker, er ist in Wasser leicht löslich, ohne Geschmack u. der Gährung nicht fähig. Man wendet ihn in der Zuckerbäckerei zum Färben der Confitüren an, sowie um dem Weine eine dunklere… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Caramel — Caramel, braun gesottener Candis …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • caramel — (Cf. caramelo). 1. m. Variedad de sardina, propia del Mediterráneo. 2. ant. caramelo (ǁ azúcar fundido y endurecido) …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • caramel — ► NOUN 1) sugar or syrup heated until it turns brown, used as a flavouring or colouring for food or drink. 2) a soft toffee made with sugar and butter that have been melted and further heated. DERIVATIVES caramelize (also caramelise) verb. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

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