WATCH: How to Make Caramel Sauce
Make caramel at home for all your drizzling, topping, and dipping needs!
Is there anything more delicious than homemade caramel sauce? You can drizzle it over your ice cream, have it with pancakes, and spoon it into your coffee. You only need three main ingredients for it but making caramel sauce from scratch can be a daunting task. Here, five quick tips to help you make a great caramel sauce:
1 Safety first!
Working with sugar can get a little bit messy. Remember to keep a bowl of water nearby if the caramel splatters on your hands. Melting sugar is extremely hot!
2 Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan with high edges.
Once the cream and butter are added to the caramel, it will boil over. Use a pan that can handle the caramel when it doubles in size. A heavy-bottomed one will help the sugar melt evenly and will avoid burning.
3 Quality ingredients are non-negotiable!
Invest in heavy whipping cream instead of all-purpose cream. It makes all the difference when it comes to making a caramel. Also, it is important to bring both your cream and butter to room temperature before adding it to the sugar.
4 Be prepared.
A caramel sauce comes together relatively quickly. Have your ingredients within arm’s reach because you will not have enough time to go looking for your next ingredient to add once the sugar is ready.
5 Watch the sugar closely.
In a matter of minutes, your white sugar will melt into a copper-colored liquid. The secret to a great caramel is in cooking sugar into a golden caramel: under-cooked sugar will leave you with a one-dimensional and overly sweet caramel, and over-cooked sugar will only taste burnt.
CARAMEL SAUCE RECIPE
1 cup white sugar
100 grams butter, at room temperature
½ cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
Pinch of sea salt
1 Bring your butter and cream to room temperature. Place these ingredients near your work space because once the sugar cooks, these need to go into the mixture immediately.
2 Caramelize your sugar. Place your sugar into a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat. The water content of sugar will cause it to melt–some parts faster than others. If you start to see some parts browning much faster than the rest, gently push the uncooked sugar with a spatula or wooden spoon to the middle where it can cook faster. Remember to stir your sugar as little as possible or the caramel may seize up into clumps of sugar. If it does, bring down your heat down to low and gently heat your sugar until it melts again.
3 Add the butter and cream. Once you reach a copper-colored caramel and just when it starts to whisper soft swirls of smoke, turn off the heat. Add the butter, and gently stir it into the caramel until it melts. Your caramel will splatter violently–be careful and don’t stay too close to the saucepan! Add the cream and stir to incorporate.
4 Cook for 5-10 minutes until the caramel smoothens out. At this point, you can add a few pinches of sea salt to cut through the sweetness of the caramel. To make a salted caramel sauce, add 1 heaping teaspoon of sea salt. Gently stir the caramel until it all comes together. If there are still lumps of sugar in the caramel sauce, strain the caramel into a heatproof bowl.
5 Cool the caramel sauce. Place the sauce into a clean jar or two. This can keep refrigerated for two weeks. To make the sauce runny again, you can bring it down to room temperature or microwave it for 20-30 seconds until you get your desired consistency.