Making caramel for a layered filling in a dessert tart

I’ve got the method down and understand how different temps and additions of fats result in different viscosity levels. I’m just not sure what I need, other than “fairly thick and won’t ooze out from under chocolate ganache if it’s been out of the refrigerator for a half hour”. This is a tart shell with a caramel layer below and a chocolate ganache layer on top. The recipe is vague on temp and only gives time, which makes me suspicious. It calls for 1.5 cups sugar, 1/8 tsp cream of tartar, 6 tbsp butter, 1/3 cup heavy cream.

All said, do I need soft ball (234-240 degrees) or firm ball (242-248 degrees) caramel to achieve a soft but not oozing caramel? Are the fats appropriate for a not-too-oozy caramel?

Hoping there’s a caramel wizard out there :wink:

I have made caramel. The trick is knowing and that only comes with experience. I have never controlled the viscosity. Sometimes it’s been more liquid than other times. I think humidity levels have something to do with it too. Good luck. Use real butter, not margarine.
ETA a good candy thermometer is a must have.

I do have a candy therm and also a thermapen. I’m going to make it ahead so that I can do it numerous times if needed.

I love stuff like this so I’m ready to screw it up and learn and do it over again. :smiley:

Update: I seem to have knocked it out of the park on my first try. I was very patient and cooked the sugar slowly so that I had time to feel confident about pulling it without having to make a rash decision and pulling too soon or risk burning. Thick but not chewy, soft enough not to ooze easily (I might consider pressing a piece of parchment up against the cut edges after serving for storage because caramel is going to be affected by gravity at some point :wink: ) It’s a deep amber color so it’s got a good, sweet, deep caramel flavor. I’ll try to get some pics posted after the tart is complete (I’m doing it in stages so as to not screw this up!)

I think it would be better if you mailed us samples.

Sounds lovely. I often find caramels like this include sweetened condensed milk, which gives an excellent texture but a milky finish to the flavour, which isn’t always appropriate with other ingredients.

In fact, you can make a very good caramel using nothing but sweetened condensed milk.