When I get to plan a recipe and I find out it involves heating up sugar to either expect a caramel result or something towards that path, then I know my nightmare has just began. I literary do not have any fun memory especially when it comes to making candy, caramel or heating sugar. 90% of the recipes I have tried out in this caliber turned to shit. Major back fires and a lot of frustrations at the end of the day. This recipe is no different. The first try was a total disaster. Still trying to figure out, “did I use heat that was – either too high or too low? Was my sufuria too thin for the job (I highly suspect this was the case)?, or was it that I was too eager to dissolve the sugar and water first with a spoon hence the crystallization?” These are the questions that I had no answers to before, but definitely learnt the hard way. If your caramel prep is spot on, I envy your sugar making skills and I would love to learn a new trick or two, but if you have no skill in this particular department just like I have found out the hard way, trust me you will fail, and that is O.K.A.Y. Both you and I are on this platform to learn something new hence switching things up for the better, so stay tuned and …
First lets start with the basics.
What is an inverted sugar? Its a sweetener and liquid sugar where sucrose has been broken down to form two simple sugars that is glucose and fructose. This means, water is added to the sugar and boiled together for a period of time, where a chemical reaction happens and (for this recipe) we add an acid – which is the lemon slice – that speeds up the process plus has its other benefits which I’ll indicate on the recipe below.
What is golden syrup? Its a type of inverted sugar. Right from the moment its prepared, the syrup is very hot so handle with care, it has a golden amber color, loose like water and smells like that of treacle ( also know as molasses), but once it cools down completely, it thickens to the same consistency as honey and is very sweet to the taste.
This type of inverted sugar is used mainly in the bakery world, despite it being a very common ingredient in most of the baked goods, it can be quite expensive and rare to find near you. So, why not make it at home? One of the most important reasons why its used to bake cakes, cookies etc, the baked goods retain its moisture and therefore no crystallization foams while its baking and it’s shelf life is very promising – it can last for many months up to years on your pantry in an air tight glass jar. No need to be placed in the fridge.
DID YOU KNOW? …that white sugar and golden syrup have a very similar glycemic value? This means that our bodies process these two about the same rate?
Like I had mentioned on one of my statements at the beginning, I have tried this recipe before and it didn’t go so well, mainly because the sugar always crystallizes, and its so annoying. I’ll get to share with you the 1st try result and the 2nd try result once we get to the recipe so you can compare the two and see where you lie if you decide to try out this recipe.
NOTE: When it comes to the type of equipment to use, PLEASE! PLEASE! Get yourself a heavy bottom SILVERWARE saucepan. Not a sufuria or one of those dark non-stick saucepans. A sufuria will not work because its a light material and your sugar will crystallize and it absorbs a lot of heat. I insist on the silver ware because, its much easier and clear to shoot and record the contents of the saucepan than when you use a dark -non stick pan.
On my 2nd try for this recipe, I didn’t have any heavy duty silverware saucepan, so I improvised and used my stand mixer bowl (Yup! you heard right) to heat up the sugar mixture and the result was phenomenal.
This is what you’ll need:
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 1 hour 45 mins 1st cooling time: 20 mins
Total time: 2 hours 10 mins
- 200 g of Lakanto monkfruit sweetener
- 100 g of water
*Lemony Golden Syrup*
- 700 ml of HOT water
- 500 g of Lakanto monkfruit sweetener
- 1/4 slice of lemon
*Important tools used/also needed:
- Heavy duty Silverware saucepan / Improvised with a stand mixer bowl (Not recommended) but that’s what I used.
- A wooden spoon
- Sterilized mason jars with lids
- Heat on a stove
- Sterilized Jug – Optional
Step 1: For the caramel, add the monkfruit sweetener and water into your saucepan, lightly stir to mix up the sugar, then place it over a stove on medium heat. Bring it on a gently simmer for roughly 45 mins to an hour. The sugar mixture will reduce in quantity, end up smelling like burnt sugar, start turning from a light golden amber color to a slightly darker color. At this point the sugar mixture level will be very minimal.
Step 2: Little by little (just as shown in the video above) add hot water to that caramel effect mixture. Be very careful not to splash while add in the hot water. Trickle it slowly by the sides of the bowl, after two or three additions of the hot water, start mixing the with the wooden spoon then gently add in the rest of the hot water. Place the lemon slice into the mix, and add more of the monkfruit sweetener, dissolve it by mixing the two together, turn the heat to a low and leaving it to gently simmer for 40 to 45 mins. The addition of the lemon which is the acid will immediately stop any crystallization from forming and also stop any caramelization from taking place.
Step 3: Sterilize the mason glass jars. – Add boiling hot water in the jar, lightly cover it and let it sit for 5 mins. Pour out the water and the jars are ready to be filled up.
Step 4: 1st cooling = 20 mins. Completely turn off the heat, and remove the candied lemon slice and set it a side. You can add it to your lemon water or tea.
Step 5: Sieve the syrup directly to the mason jar or do it like I did. I first sterilized a jug first, sieved the syrup into the jug with a draining tip as shown in the video, and directly pour the mix into the sterilized mason jar. At this point you can see there aren’t any bubbles, but once its cooled off completely, you’ll get to see the trapped bubbles.
Step 6: 2nd cooling – 2 to 4 hours to overnight. I placed the jars wide open on the counter top – and left it overnight to cool completely.
My first try (below) when I used a sufuria and crystallization happened, this was the result. Remember when you get this as your result, place it back to a heavy duty silverware saucepan and reheat it over medium heat for 15 mins and add a 1/4 slice of lemon to the mixture. It will thicken, reduce in quantity and turn the color to golden, just like the above picture.
Step 7: The mixture by now has cooled completely, and thickened in consistency, Watch the above video for more. The taste has a definite hint of lemon and its sweet too.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Even after you’ve let it cool over night and it seems too runny, place it back on a saucepan and reheat it for 15 mins on low heat. Wait for it to reduce and thicken and turn off the heat, let it cool for 20 mins in the sauce pan before you transfer it to a jar to cool completely.
- If its too thick to handle, make a simple syrup (the ratio is 1:1) and add it into the thick mixture to loosen it up.
Ways to use this homemade golden syrup can be in: both hot and cold beverages, cold desserts as a sweetener, in oatmeal as breakfast, in most bakes and sweet pastry treats, on fruit salads and even on toast. Endless possibilities.
If you decide to try out this recipe or any other on this blog, tag me on either of my social pages with the #TastieDineRecipes, I’ll make sure to check it out and give you a shout out + repost your work.
Until on the next episode, bon appetite!