I Tried To Follow A 5-Minute Crafts Recipe And Wound Up Screwing Up My Microwave
Look, I should have known better. 5-Minute Crafts is a scam.
To set the scene, it was lockdown, I was bored out of my mind and constantly finding myself going down the DIY-side of YouTube. In that space, the YouTube algorithm kept me on videos made by Blossom, Tasty and, of course, 5-Minute Crafts.
The quick, fast-paced brightly coloured videos never really taught me anything, but my God, they were entertaining to watch. But, on one particular afternoon, I decided that it was worth putting one of these ‘hacks’ to the test. And fuck me dead, I chose the wrong hack.
The hack that I chose was to make “instant caramel.” Sounds good right? Wrong.
According to 5-Minute Crafts, it’s super easy to make instant caramel from sweetened condensed milk. All you have to do is pour a can of condensed milk into a heat-proof bowl and microwave it for 10 minutes and then at the end of it, you have caramel. How good is that?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Haydn, that clearly won’t work. Nothing should ever be microwaved for 10 minutes long unless it’s frozen… you silly goose!’ Well, what you fail to factor in is that I have an inability to cook and a very inadequate understanding of how a kitchen functions. And as a result, I missed the clear red flag in this situation.
So, Let’s Make Some Caramel!
So, with my dumb-fuck-idiot brain, I decided that microwaving condensed milk for the duration of half-a-Friends-episode would be a good idea.
I started by pouring a can of sweetened condensed milk into a heat-proof pyrex dish.
As you can imagine, it all went down the gutter. In a matter of minutes, I could hear mini-explosion sounds coming from the microwave. Did I palm this off as if it’s a normal thing to happen in a microwave? Yes.
What I couldn’t palm off was that – at around the 4-minute mark – smoke was seeping out of my microwave. So, I did what any sane person would do in this situation and stopped the microwave. Following that, I patiently waited for the instant caramel to cool because yes, my dumbass really thought that the hack was going to work. Spoiler alert: It didn’t.
Just take a look at the aftermath.
So, I know what you’re all thinking, ‘Is there any truth to the 5-Minute Crafts video at all?’ Well, kind of.
After all the smoke and the burnt bits were all cleared from my bowl, you could see a few bits and pieces of caramel throughout.
As I result, I did some research and according to food scientist and YouTuber Ann Reardon, yes it is possible to make caramel from sweetened condensed milk, yay! But, word of warning, it’s not “easy” per see.
In her video titled “Debunking Fake Cooking Videos 2020” Ann explains that in order to make caramel from sweetened condensed milk, you need to microwave a bowl of it for one minute, then take it out and stir it. Then proceed to microwave the bowl for 30 seconds and then stir it for 30 seconds. Then, keep repeating this task up to a dozen times until the consistency becomes thicker and darker. Watch her do it here:
There you have it. Consider this your official reminder to Google everything before attempting to follow an Internet hack.
For more cooked cooking content, check out these cursed recipes on TikTok.