I’m a sucker for good caramel. They are my weakness. It doesn’t matter what form they come in–soft and chewy, hard candy, or syrup for my ice cream–I’m a sucker for caramel. So when I started seeing recipes touting how easy it was to make caramel in the microwave, I was intrigued. But it always seemed like too many ingredients, ones I never had on hand when I wanted to make caramels. Then one day I saw a recipe for using just condensed milk in the crockpot, and making caramel sauce with that. But then those recipes always came with warnings–apparently it is very easy to explode a can as it heats up. So I wondered–what if I combined the two recipes? What if I used a can of condensed milk in the microwave? Will it make caramels?
Turns out, it does! A simple can of condensed milk and twelve minutes in a microwave–that’s all you need for really simple, yummy caramels!
1 can of condensed milk
1. Pour the condensed milk into a large glass bowl. Use a larger bowl than you think you need, because it bubbles up quite a bit in the microwave.
2. Microwave on medium heat for two minutes at a time. I used 30 or 40% power, depending on how much it was bubbling. Feel free to stop the microwave if it bubbles over.
3. After each two minutes segment, stir the condensed milk with a whisk. Then microwave again
4. After four or five times being microwaved, the caramel should look kinda chunky or spoiled and a nice brown color. Whisk it to make it smooth. If you want caramel sauce, stop here.
5. Microwave once more. When done, whisk again. At this point the caramel should be what confectioners call the “softball” stage. This means that it is firm and stands up on its own. It is still somewhat soft, but chewy
6. Pour it out onto a cutting board or into a well-oiled bowl. Careful, it will be very hot. Let it cool here for five to ten minutes.
7. Roll the caramel into a ball, and then into a long rope. Slice into pieces with a very sharp knife. (Tip: oil your knife to keep it from sticking.
8. You can salt them now with sea salt for salted caramels, or simply roll these pieces in waxed paper cut in squares to make individual pieces. It’s up to you!
I salted half of mine. Then I took the rest and made homemade modjeskas–wrapping a mini-marshmallow with a piece of caramel. Both are simply divine!
Here’s what they looked like at the end:
Isn’t that plate cute?