I must admit I was never a fan of caramel up until a few years ago. I had never even heard of salted caramel and couldn’t imagine something sweet could be salted and taste amazing. I must have been living under a rock. One of the things that I couldn’t stand about typical caramel was that it was toothache sweet. The salt really helps cut through some of the sweetness and bring in a nice balance of salty sweet. This is just one of the MANY reasons why I LOVE salted caramel. Another reason, like I need any, is the simplicity of making salted caramel. That’s right. You are just a few ingredients and short minutes away from experiencing salted caramel bliss.
The recipe below is one I came across a few months ago and have really liked the results. There are several variations to making salted caramel, and I’m sure there may be some better recipes out there for making it, but the key to making the BEST caramel is making sure you reach the right amber color when turning the sugar into a syrup. The picture above that I took, you can tell the color isn’t as “caramel” as I would have liked. I pulled it a little too soon, but it still came out delicious. I went ahead and posted the picture anyway to show that even some of the ones who have had more experience in the kitchen can make mistakes. So the color wasn’t as dark as I would have liked, but the taste was still terrific. So far I’ve spooned it over ice cream, French toast, chocolate chip pancakes, and cupcakes. It is so good I would gladly pour it over a gym sock and eat it… well, maybe just lick it off. Check out this recipe and give it a shot.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Time: 15-20 minutes
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp. of unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (NOT TABLE SALT!)
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in heavy cream. The mixture WILL BUBBLE! Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish to cool.
Tips from the little red bird
- When adding the heavy cream, you are going to want to temper it in. What this means is that you are going to slowly add it to the hot sugar syrup while continually stirring. This is extremely important because you want to bring the sugar syrup temperature up just a little at a time. If you dump in the heavy cream all at once, it will seize up and you will have hard caramel-like candy. Remember, the mixture will bubble and maybe even hiss at you. Totally normal.
- Be sure to keep an eye on the sugar syrup. Don’t walk away because it could burn in an instant. Trust me.
- Not all oven settings are created equal so it is important to pay attention to the sugar to make sure that it isn’t getting too hot too quickly. Otherwise you can end up with giant sugar crystals that will harden.
If you tried this recipe, leave a comment to tell the whole wide web what you thought!