This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
When it is perfectly understood that in the manufacture of caramel, sugar is to be deprived of the one molecule of its water of constitution, it will be apparent that heat must not be carried on to the point of carbonization. Cloudy caramel is due to the fact that part of the sugar has been dissociated and reduced to carbon, which is insoluble in water. Hence the cloudiness. Caramel may be made on a small scale in the following manner: Place 4 or 5 ounces of granulated sugar in a shallow porcelain-lined evaporating dish and apply either a direct heat or that of an oil bath, continuing the heat until caramelization takes place or until tumescence ceases and the mass has assumed a dark-brown color. Then carefully add sufficient water to bring the viscid mass to the consistence of a heavy syrup. Extreme care must be taken and the face and hands protected during the addition of the water, owing to the intensity of the heat of the mass, and consequent sputtering.
The ordinary sugar coloring material is made from sugar or glucose by heating it, while being constantly stirred, up to a temperature of about 405° F. A metal pan capable of holding nearly ten times as much as the sugar used, is necessary so as to retain the mass in its swollen condition. As soon as it froths up so as nearly to fill the pan, an action which occurs suddenly, the fire must instantly be extinguished or removed. The finished product will be insoluble if more than about 15 per cent of its weight is driven off by the heat.
CARAMEL IN FOOD: