Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Salted Caramel sauce---Take II

If there was ever a true evil in this world, I'd say it's salted caramel. Not only is it addictive, but it's seductive, sultry, and decadent flavors only stand to be had if made correctly. Otherwise, you just wasted time, effort, and ingredients with an unusable sauce. 

My first three futile attempts at making this stuff had me cursing like a sailor---Too bleeping light, Too burnt, too motherfracking clumpy (Yes, dad I am watching Battlestar Galactica, thanks for asking :)) And some of those sauces were a bit of all three. Yet, there was never a dessert topping I craved more at those three moments of failure. Frustration and panic seized me my third, clumpy attempt. You will not defeat me! I screamed like a mad woman, as I whisked the sauce hurriedly and haphazardly, cackling all the way. (At this point in time I glimpsed Burt cautiously tiptoeing past the kitchen away from me, perhaps scared I was going to set the house on fire. Or maybe it was my loud cackle? Can't be too sure, have to keep whisking. At no point was I aware of how insane I looked straining out the clumps in my muddled up caramel monstrosity. I was too determined to fix it. But you can't fix what you didn't make right in the first place. That was the lesson I learned from my third caramel disaster yesterday.

The cooled off, refrigerated caramel. Hence, the reason it doesn't look saucy.

So this morning, after tossing and turning all night dreaming dreams of caramel oceans devouring me whole, I went for it--my 4th attempt. I'd stayed up late last night googling caramel making techniques and trying to decide which one would work best for me. And I'm relieved to report that I did it, I conquered the salted caramel monster. That amazingly, smooth, buttery, salty, unnatainable sauce. That's right, folks. I fought the battle and won.

Salted Caramel Sauce--Take II
Recipe adapted from Lick my Spoon's salted caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream, room temperature
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/8 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt

First things first. Make sure that you have at least a 3 quart saucepan. Set the saucepan with the sugar on medium-high heat. Add in the water and let it absorb it's way into the sugar for about a minute. Now, whisk together just to get all the water and sugar incorporated. once the sugar/water mixture starts to boil, DO NOT WHISK OR STIR!! Just let it be, swirling the pan around every once in a while, but stay in sight, otherwise you may end up with burnt caramel on your hands. This should only take about 5-7 minutes. Now, this is very important...we are looking for a dark amber color to appear, but not too dark. Just use your best judgement and smell the sauce, it should smell like caramel. You'll just know. Now, yank the pot off the heat and very sloooooowly whisk in the room temperature cream. Note: It must be room temperature!!! I actually heated mine a little in the microwave this time around and it worked out perfectly! Add your butter and whisk until it is fully melted. Then, add your sea salt and your vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate. Let cool about 10-15 minutes to ensure proper thickening.  And there you have it, salted caramel, at your mercy.

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