Food Encyclopedia

Browse Alphabetically

Pronunciation: [KEHR-ah-meh-lyz; KAR-ah-meh-lyz]

Categories: Caramelizing

To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a clear syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown (from 320° to 350°F on a candy thermometer). Granulated or brown sugar can also be sprinkled on top of food and placed under a heat source, such as a broiler, until the sugar melts and caramelizes. A popular custard dessert finished in this fashion is crème brûlée. Caramelized sugar is also referred to as burnt sugar.