Happy New Year! To start this year on a good note I decided to try something that I’ve been wanting to make for some time now…and that’s Caramel Sauce. I’ve had this fear of boiling sugar and somehow knocking the pot off the stove and burning the shiz out of myself ( I’m crazy….I know), but no worries it hasn’t happened…well not yet.
*Sorry for the crappy pics…I took them with my phone…couldn’t get my camera, until I was done making this.
Caramel sauce is very easy to make, just takes some patience and standing in front of the stove for a bit. If you walk away, you risk burning your sugar and the sauce will be ruined….ruined I tell you…cause I did that!! There’s nothing sweet about the smell of burnt sugar in your house.
This sauce is pretty amazing…not life changing…but sooo good. If its done right, you will not go back to store bought caramel sauce…ever…pinky swear! So give it try, it took me three times to get it right.
*The key to getting great caramel sauce it dissolving the sugar before bringing to a full boil. Do this and you will be a very happy person.
adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Set the pan over med- low heat and stir the mixture gently until the sugar is dissolved. The syrup will not be completely clear but let it warm over medium-low heat (a 3 on my stovetop) for at least 6-10 minutes (I set my timer for 8-10 min) before moving to the next step. To be sure the sugar is dissolved.
A good way to tell is by dipping a spoon in the sugar mixture and then gently slide your finger (it might be hot, so use caution) over the mixture on the spoon and take a taste. If the sugar is dissolved, the syrup will be smooth and not at all grainy. If you still feel grains of sugar, keep stirring over low heat until it is completely dissolved. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before letting the mixture come to a boil.
Once the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to medium or medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Cover the saucepan and let the syrup boil for 2 minutes.
Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to boil the syrup until the edges start to turn golden brown. Carefully and gently stir the syrup until it turns a medium amber, caramel color. This can take up to 5-7 minutes. But watch it, cause when it starts to turn gold, it will get dark pretty quickly. I like to take the pot off the stove a few times and swirl the caramel around then place it over the heat as it starts to darken. I do this until its a deep gold color.
Remove from the heat and add the butter. Gently stir until the butter is incorporated. Stir in the cream. If the sauce becomes lumpy and isn’t whisking together, set the pan over low heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature. Store the sauce in a jar or airtight container, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Reheat on 50% power in the microwave or in a saucepan, adding a tablespoon of two or water, if needed, if the sauce is too thick.