Salted Caramel Sauce
On the day I made eggplant parmesan, I wanted a simple dessert since I’d spent so much time in the kitchen already. I also wanted to use up some of my extra brownie bites that I popped in the freezer. Inspiration struck, or rather craving struck. I decided to make homemade salted caramel sauce, then make sundaes with vanilla ice cream, caramel, brownie bites, toasted pecans and whipped cream. Man, they were good. Word to the wise, this salted caramel sauce will appeal to even caramel traditionalists, who like their sauce sweet without any added foodie twists (Amina, I mean you). You barely taste the salt, it just highlights the sweetness of the sauce, and the reason for this is using salted butter as opposed to adding additional salt. It tastes rich, and has a complex flavor that ready made caramel sauces lack. It doesn’t taste like just any super sweet sugar syrup, you actually taste the toffee undertones. It is surprisingly easy, requiring 5 minutes of active time, you just need to keep an eye on the caramel to make sure it doesn’t burn, because once going it cooks really fast. Basically, just make this, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. It lasts in a jar in the fridge for two weeks, and trust me you’ll find a lot of uses for it. I’ll add some recipes with uses for the sauce very soon.
Caramel Sauce- Makes around 1 cup of sauce. Source: Joy the Baker cookbook
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (I didn’t have this on hand so I substituted maple syrup-turned out great)
- 6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) good-quality salted butter (I like an Irish or French butter)
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the warming pan. Whisk the sugar occasionally as it begins to heat, to ensure that the sugar cooks evenly.
Cook the sugar to a nice dark copper color. The sugar will go from golden to dark copper fairly quickly. To help control the sugar, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool burner just before you reach the dark color you’d like. The bottom of the pan will still be hot enough to continue to cook the sugar.
Over low heat, whisk butter, all at once, into the copper-colored sugar. When butter is melted, pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble and froth, but keep mixing. When bubbling subsides, add vanilla extract. Stir. The caramel might feel too loose. Don’t worry; it will thicken as it cools.
Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To thin, warm in the microwave for a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.