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Basic Caramel sauce never works, Help.

This should be easy but never works for me. Here is what I do (as the recipes instruct.) I put one cup of sugar and 3 tblsp. water in a non-stick pot. Using medium heat, it melts but never turns amber. After about 7 minutes, it turns to slush. Is it the pot? is it the heat? What the heck.

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