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Lessons for roasting from dry caramel

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  • Lessons for roasting from dry caramel

    Okay: So, being the Masterchef fan and unwitting professional cook, I have been experimenting with dry caramel lately to add some pizzaz (sp?) to desserts.

    The idea with dry caramel is that you start with a bit of white sugar dry in the pan on heat. As it begins to melt and go golden, you add some more white sugar and toss it around until it gets melty again. Then you toss in more white sugar and so on until you have a molten golden mass.

    The reason that a dry caramel tastes so good, it seems, is that you bring the sugar up to the caramelization point, but then knock the temperature back by adding more sugar. Then you bring it up to the caramelization range again, allowing the reaction to occur again throughout the mass before knocking it back down again. The result is a mass of molten sugar where a LOT of caramelization has happened but not much burning. Flavour flavour flavour!!!

    Related to coffee, straight away I perceive the problem of moisture loss in any scenario where you draw out the roast. On the other hand, you could potentially start roasting at a higher heat, getting within spitting distance of 2C by 7 minutes before knocking in some fresh cool beans and letting things cool down for a while... if you could keep it from getting back to the edge of 2C until about 22 minutes without baking the beans that had been in there from go... maybe an excellent caramelization would result??

    Comments?

  • #2
    Re: Lessons for roasting from dry caramel

    There is more going on in coffee bean roasting than just the sugar component.

    Starting at a higher heat can cause tipping, or uneven roasting.

    Ramping to 2nd crack at 7 minutes is too fast for any sort of volume (EG: 250g and above). Will just burn them.

    Adding more green beans during the roast just sounds like a waste of 2 lots of beans to me.

    You want to get to 2nd at 7 minutes, draw it out to 22 minutes and not bake them? Good luck.

    In short, you go ahead and experiment if you want. Im out.

    Brett.

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    • #3
      Re: Lessons for roasting from dry caramel

      Youve found me out, Brett. Im kind of waiting until I have some less desireable beans in stock before I run this experiment...

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      • #4
        Re: Lessons for roasting from dry caramel

        Originally posted by 6F6F7F63626E670B0 link=1341240262/0#0 date=1341240262
        On the other hand, you could potentially start roasting at a higher heat, getting within spitting distance of 2C by 7 minutes before knocking in some fresh cool beans and letting things cool down for a while...
        This sounds like a technique that works for refined sugar only. If you were caramelising onions, Im guessing you wouldnt toss raw onions in to the onions youve already browned considerably.
        nb: Im pretty sure your caramel is sweet because a considerable proportion of the sugars are not caramelised.

        If you really want to try cooling your beans mid-roast, wouldnt removing the heat and hitting them with cold air (eg. a can of compressed air) or water (eg. misting/spray bottle) be a better foundation for your experiment? Or even adding sugar... anything but raw beans

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        • #5
          Re: Lessons for roasting from dry caramel

          Thats a good point, Nat. Refined sugar is a bit more straight-forward. I will adjust my plan to a more conventional cooling method

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