The Morning I Spent Wasting a Jar of Sugar


This is my almost empty sugar jar after a few failed attempts at caramelizing sugar.

Yesterday, I tried to make Salted Caramel Praline for my Salted Caramel Ice Cream. David Lebovitz’s website had very detailed, step-by-step instructions with photos including safety precautions as well as recommendations for kitchen tools. So I thought, this is going to be a breeze!


And I thought I had just the perfect skillet for the task… I had just unearthed it from the bottom of a cabinet I’d long forgotten. So naturally, I was excited to use it!


I got really dark, burnt and bitter caramel on my first try… to the trash bin it went!

On the second attempt I lowered the heat, raising the skillet above the fire when it got too hot. When the sugar dissolved and turned a nice amber color, I killed the fire and sprinkled the salt over the caramel. Within seconds, the color darkened even before the caramel hit the greased baking sheet. To the trash bin AGAIN.

Instead of throwing in the towel, the two failed attempts only made me want to get it right!

Third attempt, started with moderate heat and lowered when the sugar started to get a bit of color. I raised the skillet away from the fire until the sugar was completely dissolved. Just when it started getting a light amber color, I killed the fire and sprinkled the salt and quickly poured the caramel on the baking sheet. The color looked perfect on the sheet!

I left the caramel praline to cool and moved on to another pan with more sugar to caramelize for the ice cream custard. Perfect all the way! Yummy even before chilling!

In the whirl of everything, I didn’t even notice this…


The praline was smiling at me… I thought it was a good omen.


I tasted a tiny piece of the praline and my heart sank 😦
It was bitter.
It wasn’t a happy smile … IT WAS MOCKING ME!

As if waiting for a miracle, I left the praline on the kitchen counter. When hubby tasted it, he agreed that it was a bit bitter.
This time, instead of throwing it in the trash, I watched the insidious smile melt away after drowning it in tap water.

This is WAR! I have a new bag of sugar for tomorrow’s battle!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
-Albert Einstein


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