"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Caramelizing Sugar Using Microwave

The daring me...I experimented again with the microwave and tried to caramelize sugar using microwave,
From microwave-caramelized sugar
mainly because there are times I want to put caramelized sugar in small pans and make small individual servings of leche flan. I started experimenting using different power settings. After the 6th attempt, I have a final recipe for making an individual caramel-lined ramekin.

Place two heaping (ordinary) spoonfuls of sugar into the ramekin (I used glass custard cups; Pyrex or Anchor Hocking. DO NOT USE PLASTICS. Sugar can get very hot and will melt plastic containers.). Microwave on high for 1 min 30 seconds then continue in 30 second increments until you see some bubbling begins. From this point, you have to continue microwaving in increments of 10 seconds while stirring with a fork or chopstick in between to avoid scorching/burning at that hot spot (notice in my photo there was one that had darker look. If you want your caramel a bit bitter as if there was some coffee, you might like it this way). After about a total of 4 minutes you will have perfectly golden caramel. USE OVEN MITTS to handle cups. Be careful not to drop caramelized sugar on your skin; it causes second degree burns. I know, because I had them. :)

I did try it on a bigger pan and was not too pleased at the prolonged microwaving time. So I will use this microwave method only for smaller ramekin.

UPDATE as of 2-04-9:
I tried to caramelize 1 cup in a pyrex measuring cup, high power, initially for 5 minutes but I was watching it closely. As soon as it starts melting at one point, stir, then zap and stir at intervals of 30 seconds. By the end of 5 minutes total, I had a perfectly caramelized sugar ready to pour in a round foil pan (downside to foil pan, if it hardens before you distribute, you can't zap to make it fluid again). Better pour in a round baking glass or ceramic pan which you can zap again in case you have to).

What did I end up doing with them? I made custard cakes for the small ones and bread pudding for the larger one(up on my next post...)

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