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living the sweet life

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Trust me when I say this stuff is addicting.

Every time I walk past the fridge, I need to sneak a little taste. Not heaping spoonfuls like with Nutella, but a little taste. Every. Freaking. Time. I can’t stop. Thankfully, a good majority of this sauce went into making buttercream for my 1 year blogiversary cake (and then frosting for funfetti cupcakes as well), but there’s STILL half a jar left.

Help.

The worst thing is.. It’s so easy to make. I can just see myself always making this to keep in the fridge because it makes a delicious frosting, and I’m sure it’ll be great drizzled in cookies, brownies, as a glaze for donuts. In hot chocolate, in coffee… In anything. I was even dipping marshmallows in it. What the what.

Caramel can be intimidating. I was afraid to try it for so long, but two weeks ago I made chocolate covered caramels (recipe coming soon) and they were delicious. So I figured, if I could make chewy caramels, I could make caramel sauce. It does take some getting used to. I’m sure that this batch I didn’t cook until a dark enough amber color was reached but it’s still delicious.

This was my second batch, too, because as I was cooking the sugar in the first batch, my $4 candy thermometer broke and there was glass somewhere in the sauce. So I recommend, if you use a candy thermometer, use a decent one. I’ll finally have to invest in one that’s not quite as cheap as $4 from Century 21. But if you don’t have one, you can also just go based on color. This recipe is also easily halved, but I don’t know why you would want to do that.

My caramel felt a little runny, but it thickens a TON in the fridge, so when I would microwave it for reuse (10-20 seconds) it would be perfect consistency. My advice? Go out and make this. Read up on the two links I used (links after the recipe) and you should be good to go. The Brown Eyed Baker link has step by step pictures, which I wasn’t able to do because multi tasking with caramel and my nice camera, and being a caramel-rookie.. I decided it wasn’t wise.

Long story short. Make this. Keep it in your fridge. Eat it plain, drizzle it on and in everything, or be nice and share. It’s up to you.



Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

makes about 2 cups

2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cut up and at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sea salt (varies depending on taste and salt used)

**Before you start to make the caramel, make sure you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go. Once the sugar is melted, things move quickly and caramel can burn very quickly, so having everything prepped will save you from any do-overs.

In a large heavy saucepan, heat the sugar over medium to medium-high heat (depending on stove-top strength. Our gas stove is strong, so I only used medium heat). As the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump together and look like rocky sand, but keep whisking – it’ll melt. When the sugar has nearly completely melted (there still might be some clumps), stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around, but don’t whisk. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. WATCH CLOSELY. If you have a candy thermometer, you’ll want the mixture to reach 350 degrees F. Otherwise, focus on color.

Once it reaches the desired dark amber color, carefully add in the butter all at once (it’ll bubble up). Whisk until the butter is melted.

Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream (it’ll also bubble up). Whisk until the cream is blended and the caramel sauce is smooth. Whisk in the sea salt. Carefully, taste some caramel and see if you want to add more salt.

Let the sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before pouring the caramel into a large jar and cooling to room temperature. Store the cooled sauce in the fridge.

When you want to use the sauce, you might need to microwave it for 10-20 seconds. It will thicken in the fridge.

[source: adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod and Brown Eyed Baker]