making caramel sauce isn’t as difficult as you think. i’ve been making my own for a few years now, and while it took me a couple tries to perfect, it’s well worth attempting to master. i throw it in a jar and it stays in the fridge for a few weeks ready for drizzle on vanilla ice cream… or anything else you can think of!
this is my recipe. following it closely is important because it can be tricky and if you burn the sugar, you have to start all over again. i highly recommend reading through the process a few times before you take it into the kitchen.
- 1 cup of sugar
- 6 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- pinch of pink or grey salt
- high sided, large saucepan
- wooden spoon
* tip: adding a bit of water (less than a 1/4 cup) with the sugar will temper the process and even out the cooking of the sugar. for beginners, this will help avoid do-overs.
1. first, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. making caramel is a fast process that doesn’t care if you forgot the butter in the fridge. if you don’t work fast, the sugar will burn. remember that boiling sugar is much hotter than boiling water – so kids (and some husbands) should be out of the kitchen.
2. heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed larger size saucepan. as the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. as soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring and if you want to move the sugar, swirl instead.
3. as soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. it only takes a few seconds to burn the sugar so be alert. whisk until the butter has melted.
4. once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. note: when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. this is why you should use a larger saucepan.
5. whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. it may take a moment to come together. add pinch of your favourite gourmet salt and stir in. let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.
once you’ve become a caramel queen, it makes a great hostess or teacher gift. add a pretty ribbon around the jar, and voila! i have gifted jars of the caramel to girlfriends for the holiday season, and they adore it.