Salted Microwave Caramel

0 Posted by - December 5, 2012 - Food & Drink

This pin test was originally posted on CraftFail.

I tend to shy away from all things baking. Candy-making, to me, is the most complicated form of baking there is. I can’t even handle properly measuring a cup of flour. How the hell am I going to appropriately take the temperature of candy at the medium-ball stage?

So I was thrilled to see this version of caramel using a microwave.

Image from

And I even happened to have all of the ingredients on hand, which happens so rarely that I felt like this had to be fate.

Sure, my corn syrup was a little past its expiration date, and my brown sugar was a little bit hard and brick-like, but that never killed anyone. I was feeling pretty optimistic until I opened my can of sweetened condensed milk.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s what an opened can of sweetened condensed milk is supposed to look like.

Image from

Here’s what mine looked like.

Now, were I not an experienced pin tester, I would have screamed some obscenities and chucked it in the trash, and given up on the whole thing. But, you see, I have actually done this to sweetened condensed milk on purpose before.

Granted, I don’t know how this one got this way. I briefly considered the fact that I might have boiled it without remembering, but the label was still intact on the can, so that wasn’t it. The only thing I can think of is that it was in the cabinet next to the refrigerator, which sometimes puts out warmth that makes the cabinet warmer than room temperature.

In any case, I had already measured and mixed all of the other ingredients, and I wasn’t about to quit, so I chucked that disgusting shit in the bowl and got to microwaving.

The original poster of this recipe claimed that the only problem with how his turned out was that it was too soupy and that next time he would zap it for an extra two minutes. Because I am super smart, I decided to zap mine for an extra two minutes to completely avoid that problem.

Then I salted it and stuck it in the refrigerator for an undetermined amount of time.

I returned to it later to find a brick-like layer of the hardest caramel known to man, impervious to all utensils.

So I did what anyone who microwaved a thing too long would logically do: I stuck it back in the microwave for 40 seconds.

Despite all logic, that helped soften it up some, and over the course of two days, numerous tries, developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and breaking several nails, I managed to get most of it out of the pan. (One clump remains submerged under warm water in the kitchen sink.)

And it actually doesn’t taste that bad, if you don’t mind feeling like you’re going to rip out all of your dental work. Plus, no one died from eating super-gross-looking sweetened condensed milk or old corn syrup, and we count that as a win around here.


  • liznelson531 December 5, 2012 - 8:43 am Reply

    I attempted to make this earlier this week as a test run for possible Christmas presents. Mine is really pale, so yours definitely looks better. Mine also doesn’t taste like caramel–just sugar. Given the ingredients, it’s not too surprising.

  • KelseyDeschamps December 5, 2012 - 12:18 pm Reply

    You forgot to put the fancy paper underneath it in the pan. Then it would have cemented itself to the paper, not the glass.

  • Christine G December 5, 2012 - 1:43 pm Reply

    I’ve spent too many agonizing hours in the dentist’s “chair-of-I-need-another-yacht” to go anywhere near caramel, despite its delicious siren song.

  • Stenokel December 5, 2012 - 2:03 pm Reply

    I don’t get it. If you’re seriously testing these pins, you should follow the damn instructions! Don’t use congealed repugnant condensed milk your cat’s been incubating with its ass.

    • AnnieStercks December 5, 2012 - 5:33 pm Reply

      Stenokel Half the fun is that she rarely uses all the ingredients. It really isn’t supposed to be serious, it’s just fun.

    • Miss1 December 6, 2012 - 7:23 am Reply

      Stenokel  She always sets up her fail.  I tune in just to see how she does it.  🙂

    • SherriPate December 6, 2012 - 7:38 am Reply

      Stenokel while I do agree with you 100%, it does tickle my insides to see her half ass everything. It’s a nice break from my serious life 🙂

    • Brittany Lynne Borden December 6, 2012 - 7:48 pm Reply

      Stenokel Your insane amount of butt hurt over this makes me laugh. I mean, did you miss the entire idea of this blog? Maybe you can nurse your butthurt with a cat ass incubator.

    • chickieD December 11, 2012 - 10:30 am Reply

      Stenokel This blog attempts to answer the question, “What if Martha Stewart were your weird, sometimes drunk aunt who smells faintly of urine and the small dog that she treats like an actual child instead of a rich white lady with a stick up her butt?” What if she were testing the pins, and not some very crafty person whose house looks like a magazine spread?

      • Pintester December 11, 2012 - 10:35 am Reply

        chickieD Stenokel HEY! I’ll have you know my dog is a MEDIUM-SIZED dog.

        • chickieD December 13, 2012 - 11:05 am Reply

          Pintester Ha ha. I’m sure you sometimes switch out your Depends pad too. 
          BTW, was looking at the Craft Fail blog and I like yours way better, even though it’s nice you post there.

  • rafaelabp December 5, 2012 - 6:18 pm Reply

    Haha! I dont think your sweetened condensed milk was bad. To me it looks like a different kind, one that has brown sugar. 
    This is the normal one:
    And this is the other one:
    The brown one is waaaaayyyyy sweeter and  thicker but I think in english they are called the same. In Brazil we call the brown one “sweet milk” and the white one “condensed milk”.

  • Truffles8761 December 5, 2012 - 7:48 pm Reply

    Glorious.  I once made caramel on the stove top and had that crap cemented to the sauce pan.  After removing the bulk of the caramel, I filled the pan with water and boiled it.  The stuff came unglued with no trouble and I just spooned it out.  Just wondering, did you spray your pan with cooking spray or prepare it in any way?

  • songbird83 December 6, 2012 - 9:43 am Reply

    Maybe I am just a flamming weirdo, but I think your version looks yummier!!!  It reminds of the MacIntosh toffee that used to be available in Canada!  I would have eaten your whole pan with no complaints and then bounced around like a pin ball!!!!

    • Ethne Hedren Denham December 6, 2012 - 12:38 pm Reply

      songbird83 Since you’re from Canada, do you remember those taffy candy sticks that were strawberry and apple flavored that had what was kind of like pop rocks in the middle?  Best candy ever.  We used to be able to get them in NW North Dakota, but can’t anymore, plus I don’t live there anymore, so not a chance.  Anyway, can you still get them?  And what are they called?

      • songbird83 December 6, 2012 - 2:18 pm Reply

        Ethne Hedren Denham songbird83 I have no clue about those?  Were they available in Canada at one point?  It seems we never get the good stuff that is available in the states.  I grew up on the West coast of Canada in British Columbia and it was a real rip to move to the east (Nova Scotia) and not get to have a proper slurpee from 7Eleven.

        • Ethne Hedren Denham December 6, 2012 - 4:03 pm Reply

          songbird83 Ethne Hedren Denham Songbird, I am really sorry for your slurpee loss.  Perhaps Pintester should try to make these.  I am not sure if my fave candy were actually made in Canada or just billed as awesome Canadian candy as a lie.  It was probably cocaine on the inside and not pop rocks and you Canadians are way more strict about drugs, so it probably was trick American candy.

        • songbird83 December 6, 2012 - 4:03 pm Reply

          Ethne Hedren Denham songbird83 LMAO!!!!!!

  • emuise December 6, 2012 - 11:48 am Reply

    I LOVE your ‘Nailed it’ photos. Never ceases to make me laugh.

  • Ethne Hedren Denham December 6, 2012 - 12:38 pm Reply

    That looks like one of those Sugar Daddy candies on a stick.  Yum.  I wonder how those got their name.  Let’s see Pintestes, we’re creative.  Get on that.

    • Truffles8761 December 6, 2012 - 2:03 pm Reply

      Ethne Hedren Denham This is from  Created in 1925, the portable caramel lollipop was originally called the PapaSucker, later changing its name in 1932 to suggest “a wealth ofsweetness”–hence, Sugar Daddy.

      • Ethne Hedren Denham December 6, 2012 - 3:58 pm Reply

        Truffles8761 Ethne Hedren Denham Truffles, you rock.  And PapaSucker was way better, let’s face it.

  • pdacord December 6, 2012 - 4:58 pm Reply

    When quickly glancing at the photo, and obviously not bothering to read the title, I thought it was salmon. Yours is much pinker Pintester. Maybe the “condensed” milk??? Glad to see it was a near win though 🙂

  • Pinteste Round-up: Education | Pintester December 11, 2012 - 10:45 am Reply

    […] that fall off the trees. Truffles8761 This is from  Created in 1925, the portable caramel lollipop was originally called the PapaSucker, later changing its name in 1932 to suggest “a […]

  • Tammy Chark Nguyen April 27, 2013 - 2:20 pm Reply

    looks…. yummy?

  • Lu June 13, 2013 - 6:17 pm Reply

    Just saw that post, and your condensed milk actually turned into dulce de leche. Try eating it pure next time, its very good. Ive heard you can make some with a crock pot.

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