It is the attention to detail. The little extra that pushes something over the top that take it from very good to extraordinary. And when that extraordinary itself is truly magnificent you have pure gold.
During our restaurant years every evening I made a gorgeous caramel sauce. We would liberally pour it over the house-made ice cream. The recipe was time consuming and demanding. So I started the hunt for a caramel sauce that one could whip up quickly and without too much stress.
Making caramel sauce is rather like the fairy tale Brothers Grim Rumpelstiltskin. You turn water and sugar into a deep burnished rich golden colour. And you do not have to give up your first-born child to do it.
This caramel recipe has just the right balance of caramelized sugar to butter and cream. The recipe is easy. You put water and sugar into a pan. Watch it turn a deep golden brown. Whisk in butter. The aroma smells like McIntosh Toffee. Add a little cream. Cool. Taste. Sprinkle in flakes of fleur de sel and faster than you can say Rumpelstiltskin you have the most decadent salted caramel sauce.
Pour it over ice cream or a slice of cake. Add a generous dollop of whipped cream and you have a dessert worthy of a four star restaurant. The very best part of this recipe for caramel sauce. It refrigerates beautifully. I must admit I occasionally remove the chilled sauce, dip a spoon into its silky goodness and swoon over this stealthy treat. The sauce will keep two weeks refrigerated.
|SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE|| |
- l cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) water
- 6 tbs (3 oz 85 g) salter butter, cubed at room temperature(if you use unsalted butter you may need to add a little extra salt).
- ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
- sea salt, kosher salt or fleur de sal crystals
- Spread the sugar in a large skillet or wide saucepan and pour the water over it.
- Heat the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan very gently, JUST ENOUGH to moisten the sugar evenly with the water.
- Once the sugar is moistened and starting to cook swirl the pan ONLY IF THERE ARE DRY SPOTS of sugar that aren't melting.
- Continue to cook the sugar until it begins to darken. Watching carefully, gently swirl the pan ONLY if necessary so it cooks evenly.
- If the sugar starts to crystallize, continue cooking stirring ONLY if you see very dark or burnt spots appearing, and the crystals should eventually smooth out.
- When the caramel is a deep amber colour and begins to smoke remove the pan from the heat.
- Whisk in the cubes of butter one at a time. Do not rush this as the butter emulsifies better if you whisk the butter in gradually.
- Gradually whisk in the cream, stirring until the sauce is smooth.
- If there are stubborn bits of caramel stuck to the bottom, loosen them with a wooden spoon, and stir them in.
- If they refuse to melt, rewarm the sauce over very low heat.
- Once the sauce is cool enough to taste, you may want to add the salt to taste. Or not - your choice.
- The sauce will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and can be reheated before serving.
- If cooled and rewarmed it may need to be thinned with a bit of cream or milk.