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Ingredients for ¼ liter or 1 cup caramel:
300 gr sugar
drops cold water (optional)
Put the sugar in a pan ( better a copper pan for an uniform spreading of heat) and cook it on low flame, stirring with a spatula.
Caramellization temperature starts 121° c. At this point, when the sugar cools down, becomes hard.
If you want a liquid or gelly caramel, you must add water, as follow:
As it starts to “smoke”, spry a few drops of cold water, now stirring quicker: the sugar would increase its volume and would get darker ( at this point you may add more water, depending on the preparation you are doing: 3-4 spoons of water on 300 grams of sugar are meant for a thick caramel, suitable for desserts like bavarian cream or crème caramel; more liquid caramel, got by adding more water, are suitable for soft drinks).
You can add any other liquid ( milk, juices, wines...)
For a gelly consistency, as when you add water the temperature decreases, bring it to 108° C ( 228 F).
Turn off the heat and stir for a little further.