A mixture produced when sugar has been cooked (caramelized) until it melts and becomes a thick, clear liquid that can range in color from golden to deep brown (from 320Â° to 350Â°F on a candy thermometer). Water can be added to thin the mixture. Caramel is used to flavor soups, stocks and sauces-sweet and savory. It's also used in desserts. When it cools and hardens, caramel cracks easily and is the base for nut brittles. Crushed caramel is used as a topping for ice cream and other desserts. A soft caramel is a candy made with caramelized sugar, butter and milk.