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Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

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Perhaps the defining ingredient in toffee and caramels is the dairy product; it is the milk solids that elevate these confections from simply cooked sugar to rich, brown, flavorful candies. Milk provides browning, texture, and emulsification to these confections. The milk solids provide both the protein and the reducing sugar required for Maillard browning. Without milk solids, these candies would not brown significantly. Another role milk proteins play in toffee and caramels is that of emulsifier. As both toffee and caramels contain fat and water, they are therefore emulsions, specifically, fat-in-water emulsions. (See Emulsions.) The milk solids help to keep the fat dispersed in the aqueous phase, preventing coalescence and separation. Insufficient milk in toffee and caramels would lead to an oily mouthfeel from fat that was not well emulsified.