While I was recipe developing caramel apples for Netflix Family, I ended up making several different types of caramel in the process: the kind that shatters into shards, the kind that sets up so you can cut into chews, and of course caramel soup — which isn’t good for coating apples, but it is good for drowning vanilla ice cream. And I’ve kept tinkering with the latter recipe to create this salted caramel sauce that, once you get past some notorious caramel pitfalls, is simple to make at home and is 10-times better than store-bought.
1. Keep your eye on the caramel. After the water and sugar begin to bubble, don’t look away from the sauce pan for too long. Caramel can burn pretty quickly which is why you want to make sure you notice the deep amber color and any wisps of smoke before adding the butter and heavy cream in.
2. Have all your ingredients ready. Once the caramel reaches the right temperature, you want to add the heavy cream and the butter immediately to slow the cooking process and prevent the caramel from burning. This also will help produce the right texture and thickness of the sauce.
3. Use a thermometer. An instant-read or candy thermometer will help you make sure the caramel reaches the optimal temperature for a deeply-flavored, thick-yet-pourable sauce. If you don’t have one, it’s not the end of the world. You can also use the visual cues I’ve included in the recipe.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
¼ cup water (60 milliliters)
1¼ cup sugar (255 grams)
¾ cup heavy cream (177 milliliters)
¼ cup unsalted butter (29 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Did you make these salted caramel sauce? Tag me on Instagram and TikTok @easygayoven! I would love to see your creation!