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Homemade Caramel Sauce

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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making homemade caramel sauce for some time now, but for whatever reason, the idea of it intimidated me a bit.  I finally went for it (the little push thanks to our recent purchase of a couple NuWave Precision Induction Cooktops, which I totally love and use all the time!) and I am more than pleased with the results!

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I combined a couple different recipes that I found: Here are the basic ingredients.

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Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt (I used a couple pinches of coarse sea salt)

My first tip to making caramel sauce is BE PATIENT!  My next tip is DON’T STIR TOO MUCH! If you stir too much while waiting for the sugar to boil and brown you’ll end up with sugar concrete…trust me, it’s not pretty.

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Your stirring tool may make a difference; you don’t want to add a bunch of air to the sugar/water mixture. So DON’T use a whisk like this:

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DO use one like this:

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Start off with the sugar in your pan. Make sure you use a large sauce pot, the mixture will bubble up a couple of times and that last thing you want is hot boiling sugar boil over.

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Add the water and stir until the sugar is fairly well dissolved, but stir slowly.

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Bring the mixture to a boil…BE PATIENT!  I cannot say that enough.  Stir occasionally.  It will start to boil…

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And it will start to brown…

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What you want it a nice amber color (it was a bit tricky from this point on to take pictures, because you have to work quickly once it gets to the right color to keep it from burning.)

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Next time I’ll let mine go just a touch longer to deepen the color just a tad…

Once it reaches this point (or a bit darker) turn off/remove from heat and add in the butter.  It will bubble up quite a bit at this point for a moment.  Gently stir until the butter is all melted and mixed in well.

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This is where I switched over to a wooden spoon.  Stir in the cream until nice and smooth (it may bubble a bit here as well,) with an even consistency.  Then add in the vanilla and salt.

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Pretty simple, actually.  And it is DE-LICIOUS!  Though next time I think I’ll use fine sea salt instead; I love the salted caramel, but it seems like the salt did not dissolve completely, and I’m not a bit fan of the occasional crunch I get in the finished caramel.  All in all though it went very smoothly (after the initial sugar concrete fail).  A simple, mostly painless process to create a wonderful homemade caramel sauce, great for just about anything!

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My girls love it with apple slices, and I drizzled it over chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting for a little extra sweetness.

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: A Little Football & Beer | Living the Sweet Life

  2. Pingback: Homemade Caramel Sauce | Living the Sweet Life

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