Sweet, salty, dreamy caramel sauce!
Salted Caramel Sauce
Yields: 24 oz.
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 16 oz. granulated sugar (approximately 2 cups)
- 4 oz. water
- 8 oz. heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 oz. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the sugar and water to a tall saucepan and whisk to combine.
- Place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and cover with a lid.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, remove the lid (approximately 4 minutes). Do not stir or swirl.
- Cook until the sugar is an amber color (about 340 degrees Fahrenheit) and remove the pan from the heat (about 18 minutes).
- Slowly pour the heavy cream in and whisk (be careful, as the mixture will bubble up – having the heavy cream at room temperature helps minimize this).
- Whisk in the butter, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the caramel into a container and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Keep tightly sealed in the fridge for 1 month. Reheat in the microwave when serving.
This easy, no-fuss sauce is amazingly tasty. I love making this sauce, especially when it means salted caramel ice cream!
The ingredients for this sauce include: water, heavy cream, unsalted butter, kosher salt, vanilla extract, sugar, sugar, and more sugar.
I said this sauce was amazingly tasty, not amazingly healthy… 😉
Add the sugar to a tall saucepan (3 quart shown below):
Add water and whisk to combine. The addition of water will help the sauce to cook and brown evenly.
Bring the sugar water to a boil over medium heat – I use a lid to hasten this process.
Once it begins to boil, remove the lid. Do not stir and do not swirl. After some trial and error, I found that doing either of these caused the sugar to crystallize along the sides of the pan. As soon as some of this crystallized sugar drops into the boiling sugar, the entire mixture crystallizes and seizes up (which doesn’t make for very tasty caramel).
After about 6 minutes, you’ll reach what I like to call, the “crazy bubble” stage.
Then after 15 minutes, the “big bubble” stage.
And finally, the “amber perfection” stage! This occurs around the 18 minutes mark.
Working with caramel requires constant attention. It can go from “amber perfection” to “burned mess” in a matter of seconds. So always keep a sharp eye and don’t leave the stove.
Once you’ve reached “amber perfection,” slowly pour in the heavy cream. Because the cream is much colder than the caramel, it will cause the mixture to boil up rapidly. I like to use room temperature cream to keep this boiling to a minimum. Caramel is extremely hot (~340 degrees Fahrenheit), so be very careful not to burn yourself.
The caramel will continue boiling up a bit as you whisk the heavy cream in.
Whisk in the butter, kosher salt, and vanilla extract. Feel free to adjust the amount of salt to your preferences.
Once everything is whisked in, you’ll have a beautiful caramel sauce!
Pour the caramel into a container and allow to cool. I love to use mason jars for this. It will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 1 month. As it cools, the caramel sauce will begin to thicken – feel free to scoop some out and microwave when serving.
Salted caramel is easily one of the best flavor combinations of all time. Having this in my fridge is incredibly dangerous…. but oh so delicious.
I also wanted to add a note about cleanup – most likely there will be bits of cooked on sugar in your saucepan. I place my pan in the sink and fill it with warm water. It usually takes about 30 minutes to completely dissolve. You can hasten this process by adding water and placing the saucepan back on the stove. Bring the water to a simmer for about 5 minutes, then pour the water down the drain. Yay for clean pans!