Caramel the Season
Sugar and spice and everything covered in caramel sauce. I just love the smells and flavours of autumn: pumpkin, apple, nutmeg and the smothering of sweet caramel on all of it. As the cold winter air moves in, it’s our natural response to indulge for the sake of a little extra padding to keep us warm & cozy on those chilly December nights, and I’m happy to oblige. I happily obliged the heck out of this jar of homemade caramel sauce; poured onto a mocha cheesecake, dipped by local apple slices, topping my homemade hot chocolate, at one point I think I was licking it off a carrot (??). Don’t judge, this caramel sauce can make cardboard a decadent treat.
Note: If you plan to make homemade caramel sauce more than once treat yourself to an instant-read thermometer. There is a very small window between amazing caramel and inedible (in my opinion) burnt caramel, your thermometer will help you avoid the latter.
I use to prepare my caramel with the addition of corn syrup but recently discovered Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe without and love it more.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp warm water
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- Pour the sugar into a medium-sized saucepan and stir in the tablespoon of warm water. Although you can make caramel without the water, dissolving the sugar first helps control the final colour and avoid burning in spots. On a medium-high heat, stir the sugar constantly as it dissolves.
- Don’t stress about any sugar lumps that may begin to form, they will melt back down. Gently swirl the pan as the syrup caramelizes. Dark amber, the colour of pure maple syrup, is the perfect balance of sweet and bitter caramel flavours. If using an instant-read thermometer, you want the sugar syrup to reach a temperature of 350° f.
- As soon as the caramel reaches 350° degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.
- What you have now is officially caramel, add the heavy cream to make it a nice thick sauce.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up. The caramel will continue to cook with residual heat in the pan. Whisk the mixture until a smooth, consistent texture and colour. Your caramel is now primed and ready for dipping.
- Using a funnel, carefully pour your caramel into a warm glass jar and let it come to room temperature uncovered. With a sealed lid, you can store this in the refrigerator for 5 days (as if it will last that long).
To learn more about toffee, check out how I whip up some golden good stuff by boiling an unopened can of sweetened condense milk for these Chocolate Tarts, Banoffi Pie and/or Friday nights on the couch with a spoon. Enjoy! xoAdd to favorites