Caramelize

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A term most often applied to the process of melting sugar, either as a basic substance or to melt it when it is contained within a food. Brown sugar is often caramelized to use as a topping on ham while white sugar is caramelized to use as a topping for desserts, such as crème brulee. When sugar is to be caramelized for a topping, sprinkle it over the food, add a fine spray of water to the surface of the sugar and heat it under an oven broiler. Sugar can also be heated in a pan until it becomes a caramel colored liquid to be added to the food. To caramelize sugar within a food, apply heat to the food until the natural sugars melt and turn caramel colored.

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