I know I gotta write an intro to this salted caramel sauce recipe, but all I want to tell you is MAKE.THIS.RIGHT.NOW! Seriously, I can hardly remember how I got along without it!
Now, I’ve always been a caramel lover at heart. However, this caramel sauce has turned me against all artificially-flavored corn syrup that they have the audacity to call caramel sauce! I’m sure it will turn you into a caramel connoisseur too. With a hint of vanilla (optional if you’d rather not), the silky buttery texture, and a punch of sea salt, it’ll be love at first taste!
You can add more cream for a thinner sauce, or less for more of a dip or spread. This makes a fabulous caramel apple dip if you would reduce the cream to about 1/2 cup. Or mix it with some cream cheese and maybe some brown sugar for a caramel cream cheese dip!
The options are endless! Perhaps I will be posting some of these in the future. Whatever happens, you can be sure more recipes are coming that are gonna be using this fabulous salted caramel sauce! I love coffee drinks with caramel, so keep your eyes open!
While some of you might be scared away from the idea of melting sugar, don’t let that stop you! Just follow the directions, and keep trying. It’s really not that difficult. After a couple times of making this recipe, you’ll be a pro!
I also list several substitutions for a caramel that has less fat and fewer calories. If you substitute the cream for half and half, be warned that it can give a slightly “darker” taste, rather than the soft creamy taste. (I can’t think of a better way to describe it.) It’s still great, just slightly different. You can also reduce the amount of butter, which results in a slightly sweeter sauce.
This caramel sauce is seriously the BEST EVER! With a hint of vanilla (optional if you'd rather not), the silky buttery texture, and a punch of sea salt, it'll be love at first taste!
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Important! Before starting the recipe, it is important to read and understand all the directions. And for this recipe, you should always have your ingredients measured and ready, especially for the first few times you make it. You want to keep a close watch on the sugar, as it can burn.
- Place sugar in a 2-quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- When it has liquefied, do not stir. Rather, swirl the caramel by carefully tilting the pan. (If you stir excessively at this point, it will crystallize when cooled, and you end up with an entirely different product. This happened to me once.)
- You may need to lower the heat at this point to let the last bits melt before burns. It can quickly go from a great caramel base to a black, burnt mess. Remove it from heat when it is 350? (see notes*). With practice, you may no longer need a thermometer, but definitely use one for the first couple times!
- Add in butter and salt. Stir carefully, as it bubbles ferociously at this point
- When the butter is incorporated, add in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla extract (if using). Enjoy! Use this salted caramel sauce on apples, cheesecake, ice cream… The options are endless!
*The hotter your sugar gets, the darker (and stronger taste) your caramel gets. Use these temperatures as references to decide when to take your pan off the stove. I always go for 350?. Anything much above that tastes burnt to me.
**To make a lighter caramel, you can substitute adding half and half for the cream. However, instead of adding all the cream after the butter, only add 1/3 cup. Then add the rest after the caramel has thoroughly cooled. You also could decrease the butter to ½ cup.
***You can store this at room temp for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to a month or so. If you store it in the refrigerator, you may want to warm it slightly before pouring, as it may become stiffer than you like in the refrigerator.