- 1/2 cup water
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- In a nonreactive 3 quart pan combine the sugar (1cup and 3/4cup), water (1/2cup).
- Stir with a wooden spoon. Cover the pot and heat sugar and water on low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the lid, swirl the pan to see if all of the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved increase the heat to medium and bring sugar syrup to a simmer. DO NOT STIR after mixers simmers. Mixture will appear cloudy at first. It will clear up as it starts to boil.
- To remove any sugar spots on the sides of the pan either brush the sides with pastry brush dipped in water or cover pot again for 2-3 minutes. Steam/condensation will wash down the sides of the pan clean. However if there are any stubborn areas use a pastry brush. It is important to keep the sides of the pan clean. This helps to prevent sugar crystallization and grainy caramel sauce.
- Be sure to keep an eye on the caramel. Once you see syrup is changing color it is important to monitor it closely as it can burn easily if not watched over. Continue to cook until the caramel turns amber color then remove from the heat and pour in about 1/2 of the heavy cream (1/2cup). Mixture will foam up significantly, stir it and then pour in remaining heavy cream (1/2cup). Stir in room temperature butter (3tbsp).Mixture will be thin. Pour it into a heat proof dish and let cool slightly, about 20 minutes, Then stir in Vanilla Bean Paste (1tsp). Flavor with other flavoring as desired. Use seas salt, coffee, maple, pecans etc.
- DON’T BE TEMPTED TO TASTE CARAMEL SAUCE BEFORE IT COOLS. MIXTURE IS VERY HOT.
- Cover bowl with cooled caramel sauce with a plastic wrap and a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
WHERE SHOULD I STORE THE CARAMEL?
In the fridge, it contains dairy. It’s best to keep it refrigerated.
HOW LONG DOES CARAMEL SAUCE KEEP?
From my experience it’s good for at least a month if stored in the refrigerator. Be sure to let it cool completely before refrigerating.
SAUCE IS VERY THICK, CAN I REHEAT IT?
Yes, heat it in the microwave in 5 second intervals, or very gently on the stove.
HOW TO PREVENT MY CARAMEL SAUCE FROM BECOMING GRAINY?
- Dissolve all the sugar on low heat.
- Don’t stir sugar and water mixture once it starts to simmer.
- Make sure sides of the pan are clean, with no sugar spot clinging to them. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down the sides of the pan.
- Or use steam/condensation method. I employ the stem method twice during the caramel sauce cooking process.
OTHER WAYS TO BATTLE SUGAR CRYSTALLIZATION
- Corn Syrup – add 3 tbsp into the pan with sugar and water.
- invert sugar syrup – great substitute for corn syrup. If using – use 3 tbsp in this recipe. Add it into the pan with sugar and water, then continue with the recipe as written.
- Acid – cream of tartar, citric acid, lemon juice – these can also help fight crystallization. Use tiny amounts only. As too much of it can affect the caramel taste. Use a pinch only.