This was a first for me – making a bona fide caramel sauce. I’ve made a basic caramel a few times, but not with the added cream and butter. I also, for the first time, used a thermometer and couldn’t believe how much easier this made the process! No more sweating over when to take the pan off the heat! And the taste – divine – in fact, ‘eyes rolling into the back of your head’ kind of divine. I can foresee me making this little number a great many times in the future! In the meantime, I’ve already paired it up with my baked Pumpkin Cheesecake – a perfect union if I do say so myself!
Yields about 1.5 cups
Ingredients: (click here for unit converter)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 – 1 cup cream (depending how light you want it)
- 45g salted butter (or if you use unsalted butter, you can add in ¼ teaspoon of salt at the end)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- To make the caramel sauce: Add the sugar and water in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir carefully with a metal spoon until the sugar dissolves. Have a glass of water handy with a pastry brush and brush down any sugar granules that build up on the sides of the pan (if you don’t, the mixture may seize).
- Once the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is looking clear, turn up the heat to med/high and put your spoon away – you don’t want to be stirring at all. Put your candy thermometer into the pan. As the mixture heats up the bubbles will get fast and furious, but will start slowing down after a while. This part of the process can take 5-10 minutes.
- After a while, you’ll see the colour gradually change to a light amber. To ensure the sugar gets cooked evenly, you will probably need to give the pan a gentle swirl from time to time. The sugar will then move into a medium amber, but you’re not done yet. Wait until the thermometer reaches 350°F – at that point it will have reached dark amber.
- Take it off the heat straight away and carefully add the cream – the mixture will bubble up very quickly, but don’t panic, this is normal and will settle down again in a moment. Just be careful – the mixture is extremely hot and could give you a nasty burn. Next, carefully add the butter and whisk. Then add the vanilla extract and whisk again. If you want to add salt, you can do that now. If the mixture is lumpy at all, just put it back on the heat for a minute, and stir until smooth.
- Let the caramel cool, then pour it into an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. When you need to serve it, you will probably need to heat it up in the microwave for a half minute or more to make it pourable.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting