This post has been a long time coming. I’ve been blogging almost 3 years and about the time I started this food blog I wanted to do step by step pictures for caramel sauce. At the time I was living in an apartment with a kitchen that didn’t get a lot of natural sunlight. So, I always just said when I move, then I would share that step by step recipe (because with caramel sauce step by step can be really helpful). Well I did move recently but I kind of did a dumb thing and got a house that doesn’t have a window near the stove top (I’d say it’s a food blogging must for step by step pictures). Anyway, I did my best to make this work (with the help of a Lowel Ego light). Oh and let’s not pay attention to the fact that my burner might just need to be cleaned (cleaning ain’t my thang, I do it when I have to but avoid it when I can. Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy, right? I like things deep cleaned but a little clutter here and there, I’ve just accepted I’ll never be able to avoid it. It just comes with kids. And never ending food blogging). The spill was one of those times when I was boiling some pasta for my kids lunch, I turn my back for 5 seconds and before you know it the boiling water has gone crazy. It’s always happens. That is all beside the point though, what matters here is this irresistible, utterly decadent salted caramel sauce!
Caramel was one of the first foods I ever learned how to make. I was a young teen and my mom and sister were talking about how they remembered my grandma’s caramels and how they missed them. They went on to talk about how hard they were to make and that was when I really piped in. I like a good challenge (every now and then), plus I’ve always been obsessed with caramel so I decided to check out some recipes and learn how to make it. I’ve been making it far too much ever since. And really, it isn’t nearly as hard as people make it out to be.
With caramel sauce I really like to push it to it’s limits. There is a prime stage with caramel sauce, if you take it off too early, it hasn’t reached that key stage and it will be lacking in flavor (it also won’t be as thick), but if you leave it on just a few seconds too long it’s can burn and become bitter (then you can either pretend you meant to do that and refer to it as burnt caramel sauce, which some people love. Or, you can just be sure to have a little extra cream and butter on hand in the (hopefully unlikely) event it happens, so you can just attempt round two if needs be). Once you’ve gotten it right though, it’s becomes easier to get it right from then on because you know exactly what to watch for (side note, I don’t ever take the temperature. Just watch the shade closely).
Now go and make one of the worlds best dessert sides to go on any number of things you can think of (cheesecake, ice cream, brownies, cupcakes, cereal, just whatever).
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup salted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt or 3/4 tsp Maldon, more to taste if desired
- Gather all of your ingredients and have them nearby ready to add to the mixture as needed. In a heavy-bottomed 2 - 3 quart saucepan (something that isn't dark on bottom so you can see the shade of caramel), heat sugar and water over medium-high heat whisking constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally (this will take time, so be patient. It will first bubble vigorously and steam and it will be a clear shade, then bubbling will continue but the bubbles will become smaller and slower and it will slowly tint yellowish, then orangish, then a deep reddish orange and that is what you are looking for). Once mixture reaches a dark amber color, immediately add butter and whisk until butter has melted then immediately remove from heat. Carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in sea salt. Pour caramel into a glass jar to cool. Once cool, store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
- Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Oh look, it’s smiling :).