Everyone should have a good caramel sauce on hand, in my mind it's an essential tool in the baker's repertoire. It's easy to make and not too time consuming, the only special item you will need is a candy thermometer, and you can find those pretty cheaply. Everyone will love you for making it. Take it one step further to make salted caramel, and everyone and their brother will love you, too. So get your thermometers ready, let's get cracking! Actually, we will not be going to the soft-crack or hard-crack stages like on your thermometer, so calm down. If we did, our caramel would not be soft and pour-able but capable of cracking your teeth.
Makes 2+ cups
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium sauce over high heat. Allow to cook without stirring until the mixture turns a beautiful amber color. (If it turns an ugly amber color, I can't help ya. Just kidding. Proceed.) This could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how hot your stove top cooks. Keep a watchful eye on it, as it goes fast from light golden, perfectly amber, to burnt.
Remove from heat and carefully pour in cream, a little at a time, as it will bubble up and spatter at you. Stir until all the cream is mixed in.
Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and return to the heat. Cook until mixture reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit, about 2-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in salt. Stir in butter, one tablespoon at a time, until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely before using. Store in the refrigerator.
Don't like using corn syrup? Neither do I, in which case you can substitute honey for the corn syrup. Keep in mind that it will give it a honey taste, so use discernment for which type of dessert you will be using it with and who you will be serving it to, if honey will suit or not.
To make salted caramel, use salted butter and/or up the salt in the recipe to 1/2-1 tsp or to taste.
This is great in coffee, for cookies, swirling in brownies, using as a filling between cake layers, dipping apples and fruit into, on ice cream, and anything else you like to use caramel sauce for! Get creative and may the streams of caramel forever be abundant in your life.
Adapted from Martha Stewart