Recipe: Caramel sauce

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, caramel sauce is the perfect addition to a lot of treats year round such as ice cream, yogurt, coffee (hot or cold), fresh fruit, or just spoons 😉 You can see in my picture I was getting ready to pour it over some banana bread.

It also makes a great gift! Last christmas I added ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to the sauce and gave it away as hostess gifts.

Anyway, I bet you can come up with other ways to use some delicious caramel and of course, its homemade and food coloring/preservative free! Yay!

CARAMEL SAUCE
¼ cup water
1 cup (210 g) of sugar
6 Tbsp (85 g) butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don’t work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first – make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.

2 Heat sugar and water on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.

3 As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

4 Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.

5 Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

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