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  • FIRST POST
    • hotcookie101
    • By hotcookie101 5th Sep 12, 11:52 AM
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    hotcookie101
    Boiling condensed milk for caramel
    • #1
    • 5th Sep 12, 11:52 AM
    Boiling condensed milk for caramel 5th Sep 12 at 11:52 AM
    I want to make some caramel for a recipe. Now it says in the recipe I can buy dulce de leche, or boil unopened tins of condensed milk for the caramel.

    The tins say NOT to boil unopened as might explode? I know its H&S but can I boil them? And if so-do I just bung them in a pan and cover, or have water half way up? Can they go on the bottom or do they need a trivet beneath them? And will the condensed milk made from skimmed milk make caramel? or only full fat?

    (PS I did search, but couldn't find a specific thread, so please if I missed it, merge me!)

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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 11-09-2012 at 1:31 PM.
Page 1
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 5th Sep 12, 12:04 PM
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    pigpen
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:04 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:04 PM
    buy the tin of caramel.. it id really nice.. I would eat it out of the tin with a spoon given half a chance
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    • cutestkids
    • By cutestkids 5th Sep 12, 12:07 PM
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    cutestkids
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:07 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:07 PM
    Hi

    If you are going to boil in the tin then pierce the top of the tin first put in water to come about 2 thirds of the way up the tin and leave the pot lid off, you will need to keep checking and topping up the water.
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    • hotcookie101
    • By hotcookie101 5th Sep 12, 12:22 PM
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    • #4
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:22 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:22 PM
    Ah, I'm too tight to buy the caramel!
    Am sure the recipe says she boils a few tins then keeps them in the cupboard, surely couldn't do that if it was open?
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 5th Sep 12, 12:27 PM
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    GreyQueen
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:27 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:27 PM
    I have a bannoffee pie recipe which involves boiling a tin or carnation condensed milk. You need to whack it on something first to give it a big dent, then boil in a large pan, turning once to make sure both sides are evenly caramelised and you must not allow it to boil dry or it will probably explode. Lots of people I know have made the recipe many times and no one had had an exloding can yet.

    Allow it to cool for some time (an hour is good) before you open it. HTH.

    NB I whack mine on th kerbstone.
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    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 5th Sep 12, 12:27 PM
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    • #6
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:27 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:27 PM
    What cutestkids said. I usually put two or 3 holes in the lid first, since one might get clogged (just a quick punch through with the tin opener). From memory - and it's been quite a while - it takes about 45 minutes to turn sweetened condensed milk into caramel. (Hopefully, someone will be along shortly who can confirm that.)
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    • Possession
    • By Possession 5th Sep 12, 12:36 PM
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    Possession
    • #7
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:36 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:36 PM
    My SIL did explode a can, so it does happen. Luckily nobody was in the kitchen at the time but you can imagine the mess.
    I haven't worked it out but the cost of running the hob might cancel out the extra cost of the carnation caramel tin (unless you've already got the condensed milk of course!).

    • hotcookie101
    • By hotcookie101 5th Sep 12, 12:40 PM
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    hotcookie101
    • #8
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:40 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:40 PM
    Thanks everyone I have found a way to do it in the oven which needs to be one this afternoon for a long time anyway as am baking bread, making roasted tomato sauce, and meatballs, so it looks like I will give it a go.
    Can I use the skimmed milk one?
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 5th Sep 12, 12:53 PM
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    • #9
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:53 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Sep 12, 12:53 PM
    it takes ages to boil it to caramel so probably cheaper to buy the tins!
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    • babyshoes
    • By babyshoes 5th Sep 12, 1:05 PM
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    babyshoes
    I've done it with the skimmed milk one - it's not as nice but does work.

    I usually just do it with an unopened tin in a pot of water and make 100% sure it stays covered with water. It will only explode if you let it boil dry! My family have been using this method for years, generations even, and have never had a problem with it exploding. A good plan is to set a timer so you don't forget to check it every half hour or so. It does take a long time, at least 2-3 hours using this method, 4-5 for the yummier dark caramel. Beyond 5 hours it can catch and have a slight burned taste to it.
    Trust me - I'm NOT a doctor!
    • hotcookie101
    • By hotcookie101 5th Sep 12, 1:06 PM
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    hotcookie101
    Yeah, I think next time I will just buy the caramel, but will see how it turns out in the oven
  • mildred1978
    Please read up on Nestl! before you buy any more carnation products.

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  • gibson123
    There is no need to boil it to make caramel, just empty it into a thick bottomed pan over a low heat and stir continuously for about 15 minutes, add brown sugar for a darker caramel, let is cool and Bob's your Auntie. The only time I boil is if I am not going to use it for a while or have a huge batch to make, e.g. a bake sale, then I do about 8 cans together.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 5th Sep 12, 10:18 PM
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    PasturesNew
    If you're scared to boil and if you have a camping stove and it's nice outside...... boil it in the garden
    • krlyr
    • By krlyr 5th Sep 12, 10:22 PM
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    krlyr
    I've boiled them without piercing any holes and no explosions here. It does take ages though so I started doing the pan method - condensed milk, butter and brown sugar, as per the Carnation website - http://www.carnation.co.uk/recipes/8/Classic-Banoffee-Pie
    Just remember to keep stirring and try to heat an an even temperature (so be careful with thin bottomed saucepans) or the caramel can separate. Had a nightmare the other week when I nipped over to grab a cake out of my nan's oven (wouldn't fit in my combination microwave) and came to find the caramel separating. Salvaged it by adding a little hot water and stirring a lot until it came back together - phew!

    Alternatively, the caramel comes up on special offers occasionally so stock up then. I tend to empty it into a bowl and microwave for short spurts to make it a bit gooey-er so it settles on top of the banoffee better (it's quite jelly-like initially)
    • charlies-aunt
    • By charlies-aunt 5th Sep 12, 10:25 PM
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    charlies-aunt
    Cans are save to boil as long as they don't boil dry - as cned food is sterilised in the can by being steam heated in giant pressure cookers in the factory

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  • bluebaloon21
    Ive made banoffee pie and never pieced the lid just don't let it boil dry and move the can around so it all gets cooked. Only thing to remember when doing this is to cover with a cloth when you open it as that could be when the hot caramel spurts out and this would burn badly
    • purplesequins
    • By purplesequins 12th Sep 12, 9:47 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    purplesequins
    You can also boil tins of condensed milk in the slow cooker; a similar principle to the oven technique and safer than on the hob because the water hardly evaporates away at all, so no checking required and can be done overnight. Put the tin(s) in slow cooker, completely cover them with cold water and cook on low for eight hours.
    • rosie383
    • By rosie383 12th Sep 12, 10:40 AM
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    rosie383
    Let me be the first on this thread to say.......... make your own condensed milk!!!
    1 cup milk powder (I use skimmed milk powder and it works fine)
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup boiling water
    3 dsp butter (I just use whatever marg I happen to have in)

    Put milk powder, sugar and marg in bowl.
    Add boiling water and use electric whisk for about 3 mins til thick and creamy.

    If I want caramel for banoffee or caramel squares I just put it (like Gibson says) in a decent saucepan over a low heat and stir til it's the colour I want.
    Why on earth would I want to pay for an hours worth of gas, risk nasty burns etc, when I can do it in maybe 5-10 mins???

    This way you can control the thickness of your caramel too as you can see it. If you want it runnier, don't cook it as long. If you want a nice chewy caramel square, then cook it until it is a darker brown. If you are going to do it in a tin, you don't have the same control.
    Last edited by rosie383; 12-09-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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  • village saver
    Please be careful if boiling the tins in a saucepan, I used to do this but a can exploded -it went EVERYWHERE, all over the walls & ceiling & was an absolute pain to clear up.
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