Say hello to the BEST Salted Caramel Sauce!
Don’t you hate when you have a bad caramel day? Each attempt either seizes up or burns. And then to add injury to insult, the ruined caramel has the audacity to burn you! It’s worse than a bad hair day. Seriously. Way worse. Maybe these things only happen to me…
Fortunately yesterday was not one of those days!
(Mine usually occur only when my husband is lurking around the kitchen to bear witness to my failure.)
Because yesterday I made the most delicious salted caramel sauce that I have ever had! I made two batches just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.
I know calling something the BEST is a bold statement but salted caramel is something I take very seriously. I’ve tried a lot of salted caramel sauces and I feel qualified to make this designation.
The ratio of butter to sugar to cream is perfect and there is just the right note of saltiness from the fleur de sel. It’s so, so, so good!!! So rich and creamy!
Even my cat loves this caramel! That is how universally loved it is. I had to keep shooing her from my photograph set or she would lick the sauce from the spoon.
And in the spirit of making everyday a good caramel day…
A few things I’ve learned about making salted caramel sauce [the hard way]:
- There is a sliding scale of acceptable caramel flavor. From the very light in color and, in my opinion, light on taste to the almost burnt, dark, sultry caramel that I prefer. The final taste will depend on when you add the butter to stop the cooking process. The caramel pictured in this post is that middle ground – universally accepted as a delicious, well-prepared caramel. I added the butter when the sugar had just turned amber in color and you could smell the cooking caramel but it did not have even a hint of a burning smell. My favorite caramel is cooked just a little bit longer (only another 15 to 20 seconds or so) and I add the butter when the sugar turns a deeper, rich amber color and there is just the slightest hint of burning scent when you waft the vapors (just like they taught in middle school chemistry).
- I have burned more caramel using a thermometer than I have using the senses God gave me, thus I dispense with the thermometer. I suggest you do the same. It’s just one extra dish to wash…unless you are trying to make candy (soft ball or hard crack) to which process a thermometer is essential.
- Have your butter and heavy whipping cream at room temperature. If you add a cold liquid to the hot sugar, it will seize up and you won’t be able to recover it.If you have a gas stove that delivers consistent, even heat, then feel free to whisk your sugar as it melts (as per the Brown Eyed Baker), but if you are cooking on an induction stovetop like me, then I find it best to refrain from whisking. Honestly cooking caramel on a gas stove is so much easier. Sigh. Some day.
- Be sure to whisk in the fleur de sel IMMEDIATELY after the cream otherwise it won’t completely incorporate. I also can taste the difference between Maldon’s Fleur de Sel and regular sea salt. I think it’s worth the splurge! 🙂
- The Golden Rule of caramel making is DON’T WALK AWAY. Stand your ground at the stove. Don’t let your cat pester you into feeding her or your husband ask you to look at something. Your caramel focus will be broken and something will go horribly wrong. I know. These things happen.
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