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Ode to Sugar and Caramel Sauce

Sugar JarAs we’ve been refining our caramel recipe, it occurs to me again that sugar is amazing. Especially as Irish sugar production is dwindling, it seems like a little paean of praise is in order.

You have this white, hard substance that dissolves into a clear liquid, sweetens everything it touches, turns into candy when cooked to a certain temperature, and it can be spun, pulled, and hardened. In all its various forms, it provides happiness to people every day. There might be health concerns and visits to the dentist, but we still have dessert at the end of a meal because it makes us feel good, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

The crusaders brought the first sugar back to Europe (and it got to the Mid-East from Polynesia via India, Persia, etc.) along with numerous enlightening discoveries learned from the Arabs. I am happy that they did, and surprised and grateful that they didn’t eat it all on the long trip back home. Otherwise, we’d be working with honey, and you can’t make caramel sauce with honey!

Here’s a recipe if you want to try it. Good luck. It’s not the easiest thing to make. Please take care, because melted sugar is dangerously hot!


Murphys Caramel Sauce Recipe

200 g Sugar
50 ml Water
150 ml of Milk
50 ml of Cream

1. Put the sugar in a large saucepan and evenly pour water over it.
2. Place over medium heat without stirring, until the sugar solution turns a deep amber colour, and most of water has evaporated.
3. Take off the heat and add the milk.
4. Immediately add the cream and stir vigorously. (If you don’t add it immediately, the sauce will go lumpy).
5. It may be necessary to reheat in order to fully dissolve the ingredients.

Caramel Sauce

Note: If you have problems cooking the sugar evenly and it starts to brown only at the edges, you can use a whisk to stir it, but you might have to pass the finished sauce through a sieve as it tends to make the sugar clump…

By the way, I know that not everyone can eat sugar, and regarding diabetics, I’m still on the frustrating search for a natural way to make diabetic ice cream. If anybody has any ideas…

Finally, thanks to Conor O’Neill for providing this link regarding chocolate and health. It helps with my chocolate is not a sin argument!

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10 Responses to “Ode to Sugar and Caramel Sauce”

  1. November 21st, 2007 at 7:23 am

    Andrea says:

    Caramel sauce for me was an abject failure. The sauce is really runny. In looking at other caramel sauce recipes the amount of milk and cream (to a similar amount of caramelised sugar) is a lot less.
    I am planning on converting this to an ice cream. Waste not want not.

  2. November 28th, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Kieran says:

    Andrea – you are right! I tested this again it it was much to thin. I will re-post the recipe…

  3. February 15th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Gráinne says:

    I shold probably have read the comments before launching into making the sauce (twice!). Was the revised recipe ever posted? I can’t find it.

  4. February 18th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Kieran says:

    I revised this recipe, so the amounts above should work fine. Let me know if you had trouble with it!

  5. March 26th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Gráinne says:

    Success! I figured I should wait until I had two consecutive successful batches before confirming that I’d mastered it.

    I’ve found it worked better for me to add a small amount of the milk (roughly 60ml) and half the cream initially, and to add the rest of the liquid after I’d got the right texture. It helped to ensure that I didn’t end up with caramel coloured milk and a re-solidified ball of sugar (from the coldness of the milk).

    Anyway, thanks for your help with this. It kept me sane while I was off chocolate for Lent, and it goes down a treat at family dinners.

  6. March 26th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Kieran says:

    That’s very helpful, thanks! I’m glad it worked out. You know, I really should redo this. The sugar will clump up, and that’s OK. If you reheat and keep stirring, it will dissolve.

  7. September 13th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Máirím-Rua says:

    Hi everyone!
    I was planning on trying to make the honeycomb icecream,
    does anyone have any tips??

  8. July 2nd, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Lauren-Monique says:

    I am going to attempt to make the Honeycomb Icecream as a desert next week for my family, after a meal of Seafood Paella, Steak & Duck in Orange Sauce!

  9. July 24th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    tracey26 says:

    how long does it take roughly for the sugar & water to caramelize? new to this lol :-)

  10. December 15th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Pamela says:

    Please how can the sauce be stored?

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Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Murphys Ice Cream

Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).