To caramelize sugar, heat it in a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, without stirring, till the sugar begins to melt. Shake the skillet occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, then cook and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar is golden brown and completely melted. This should take about 5 minutes.
Once caramelized, the syrup can be tricky to work with. Here are three tips to make the process easier.
- If your recipe calls for water to be added to the hot sugar syrup be sure to add the water carefully to avoid steam burns. The syrup may clump as you add the water, but it will dissolve again as you continue to heat it.
- The golden syrup hardens almost immediately upon cooling, so be sure to work quickly once the sugar is melted.
- For easier cleanup, fill your skillet with water and heat it along with the wooden spoon until the hardened syrup dissolves.