stroopwafels are caramel waffles

May 31, 2009 Maruchan No comments exist

In the Dutch language, stroopwafels, means syrup waffles, which refers to beetroot syrup, which is sold in the shops, so I never realized that stroopwafels are actually caramel waffles. Once I found out, I started studying about making caramel, which apparently is another challenge. Making good caramel is a whole different art


With caramel, there are two challenges.\n

    1. To reach the optimum temperature, without burning the caramel
    1. To ensure that the caramel does not crystalize.

Fortunately there are many website giving advice on making caramel. I like this Japanese caramel page where you can see the different stages of caramel with the various temperatures.\n\ncooking-thermometerTo reach the optimum temperature, I am currently using a digital cooking thermometer, which are actually not too expensive nowadays. A lot of caramel websites are talking about candy thermometers, which are made of glass and are quite pricey and prone to cracking, if not used properly.  The digital cooking thermometer was about ¥1000 ($10).

The trick is to heat up the caramel and reach the highest temperature before burning point. I found the following temperature gauge on one of the wikis:

The stages of a sugar solution are generally described by the solution”s behavior when dropped into cold water:

    • Thread Stage (108°C- 118°C) – the solution thickens into syrupy threads when you pull a spoon out.
    • Soft Ball Stage (118°C- 125°C)) – the solution can be pressed into a soft gooey ball. Used to make soft chewy candies like taffy.
    • Hard Ball Stage (125°C- 133°C)) – the solution can be pressed into a dense, slightly malleable ball. Used to make harder chewy candies.
    • Soft Crack Stage (135°C- 145°C)) – the solution solidifies into a glass-like solid that slowly bends under light pressure.
    • Hard Crack Stage (150°F- 168°C)) – the solution solidifies into a hard glass-like solid that breaks or cracks under pressure. Used to make hard candies and brittles.
    • Caramel Stage (170°F- 180°C)) – An advanced crack stage, defined by the development of an amber color that becomes tan, brown and eventually dark brown as the temperature continues to rise. Also defined by the development of caramel flavors which becomes deeper, less sweet and more bitter as it darkens.
    • Burned Stage (350°F- 176°C)) – The sugar is completely oxidized (burned) and turns black. It is inedible.

The baking911 page describes it all in a nice chart.  I live at 800 meters elevation on top of a mountain. So apparently I have to adjust my temperatures  with 1 degree for every 200 meters’

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