Monday, 25 June 2012

Caramel Sauce

Do you love caramel sauce as much as I do?
I love how it's ridiculously sweet and how it makes pretty much any ice-cream better (pretty much all my favourite flavours of Ben & Jerry's have caramel in you can go and figure out which ones I like) it is amazingly fun drizzled over cake and obviously I don't eat leftover caramel sauce out of the jar...noooo....that would be bad and decadent and obviously even worse before dinner and would ruin your appetite ;)
But today, rather than buying it at the supermarket, we're going to make our own.
Before we start I have some bad news for you. If you are hoping to make this a low-calorie / low-fat affair, then you'll be disappointed.
After about 5 attempts a while back of making this caramel sauce with semi-skimmed milk (which the internet kept promising me would much for believing anything that the internet tells you) and throwing out varying incarnations of lumpy caramel sauce that wouldn't turn into anything resembling a homogenous sauce, I gave up and made it with heavy cream.
And guess what - it turned out perfectly the first time I tried.
I found this recipe on Thrifty NW Mom (don't ask how I end up on those blogs...) and it's very similar to what Julia Child suggests just easier. You see, Julia Child makes you cover the pan with a lid 'until the bubbles are thick'. Well how thick is thick?!?!? And then you set the pan in cold water. I don't know about your sink, but mine isn't big enough that I can set my saucepan into some cold water without the caramel just spilling into the water.
This recipe solves all those problems. And many more.
So let's get started, shall we?

Caramel Sauce
200g Sugar
250ml Water
1 tbsp Butter
125ml Heavy Cream

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan mix the sugar and water. Heat over a medium high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved in the water. Now we get to the really boring bit - let the mixture boil until it's a lovely caramel colour.
This is going to take forever.
You can probably watch the better part of an old episode of One Tree Hill while you wait. Or write the discussion section of the paper that has been annoying you for the better part of the last month. Or wash a gazillion dishes. Or read a paper. Or straighten you hair and do your makeup :)

Once you have a caramel coloured sugar mixture in front of you, take it off the heat and stir in the butter. Add the cream and keep stirring. The caramel will turn into a lump, but keep stirring. It will dissolve in a bit and if you're really worried, you can heat it over a low heat while you keep stirring until you have a homogenous caramel sauce in your saucepan.
The sauce will be fairly thin, but this is ok. It will thicken as it cools down.

Pour the sauce into a heatproof container (like a jam jar) and allow it to cool down. I keep mine in the fridge.

What's your favourite dish that contains caramel sauce?

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