I commend whoever invented salted caramel. It’s pure genius. Salted caramel has a slightly nutty depth of flavor, along with contrasting salty notes that harmonize beautifully with smooth and luscious melted sugar.
But making caramel is not for the faint at heart. One moment, everything might be fine, amber, and dandy. The next, you’ve got a burnt pile of scorching hot melted sugar in a pot that’s practically boiling it’s way onto your stove. (Seriously) I’ve burned myself making caramel just because it is so hot and yet so tempting just to have a little taste.
However, if you follow each and every one of my directions to a T, you’ll master the art of making liquid gold! There are no special tools and equipment, just a candy thermometer which is optional. Anyone can make caramel! You just have to know how to do it correctly.
Makes 1 Cup of Caramel
1 cup of granulated sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
I suggest having your cream and butter at room temperature because it just makes it easier to combine with the caramel. Also, it doesn’t bubble up as much.
Also, please use a non-metal cooking utensil when making these. Metal is a heat conductor, and you don’t want the metal to conduct the heat of the caramel, trust me.
1. Evenly coat the bottom of a heavy saucepan with the sugar. Make sure to use a slightly larger pan than usual to leave room for the sugar to boil. Begin heating on medium high heat, whisking as the sugar begins to melt.
You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form lumps. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. Just keep whisking to evenly melt all the sugar.
2. Add an instant read candy thermometer once the sugar has become melted and liquid enough. You’ll want to cut the heat off to a medium-low once the sugar hits 350 degrees. Or else, you might risk burning your caramel. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, turn off the heat when the caramel is a dark, amber color. The sugar will be a slightly reddish brown, and it will give off a toasty aroma. There is a fine line here between burnt and bitter caramel, and delicious caramel.
3. Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, or else the caramel might seize. Once the caramel has reached 350 degrees, or has become dark enough, add in all the butter at once. BE CAREFUL. The butter will bubble up violently. Reduce the heat to medium low as you mix the butter into the melted sugar. 4. When all the butter has been whisked into the caramel, remove the pan from heat and add all of the heavy cream into the sugar-mixture. Whisk the cream until it is completely combined with the caramel. Again, the caramel will bubbly up again once the cream has been added.
And there you have it! Probably the best sauce any dessert can wear, salted caramel. Let the caramel cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving. If you plan to keep this sauce in a jar, leave it in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. You’ll need to heat it again before serving.
Feel free to drizzle the caramel on practically anything. I drizzled my caramel on some award-winning salted caramel cupcakes. (Tutorial coming soon!) Or better yet, eat the caramel straight from the jar with a spoon. (You know you want to)