Caramel stage refers to a specific temperature range when cooking sugar syrups
. Caramel stage
occurs at 320-350 degrees F and can be determined visually because the sugar will progress from a light golden color (315-320 degrees) to a golden brown caramel (350 degrees). If the temperature gets higher than 350 degrees, the sugar will burn, turn very dark, and have a distinctive, unpleasant burnt taste. Sugar burns quickly in the upper temperature range, so work quickly and do not neglect your boiling syrup.