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The Best Homemade Caramel Sauce

The Best Homemade Caramel Sauce

The best homemade caramel sauce uses only 4 quality ingredients to create one of the simplest but most luxuriant dessert sauces ever.
Cuisine Filipino
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Barry C. Parsons

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter cut in small cubes
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Begin by mixing the sugar and water in a large saucepan. NOTE: I use a large saucepan of about 3 quarts or larger because the sugar foams up when you add the butter and cream so make sure you have a large enough pot.
  2. Boil the sugar and water over medium heat until the mixture begins to turn a light to medium amber color. The real skill in making caramel sauce does come with experience and knowing the point at which the color is perfect. Good advice for beginners is that it is better to be a little too light in color rather than a little too dark because too dark a caramel can often taste a little burnt. It is very easy to burn this mixture which can happen very quickly once the proper color is achieved, so have your butter and cream at the ready, as timing is crucial for this recipe.
  3. Do not stir the boiling sugar, this can cause it to crystallize. If you find the sugar starts to crystallize, use a pastry brush to brush water around the inside edge of the pot as it boils. You may have to do this several times. Carefully swirling the pan occasionally is also helpful to avoid crystallization of the sugar.
  4. When the color is right, quickly add the butter and stir quickly until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat immediately and pour in the whipping cream, stirring constantly until the sauce is uniformly smooth. Cool completely. Store in an airtight plastic container or in a mason jar. This sauce is fantastic with almost any apple dessert or for great caramel sundaes.

Recipe Notes

You will want to prepare the ingredients and have them at the ready. Timing is very important in a good caramel sauce, so having the butter and cream ready at the crucial point is critical to the success of your sauce. You will also want to be very careful when preparing caramel sauce; when the sugar syrup hits the right stage to add the butter and cream it will be over 300 degrees F so it is important to take particular care. It is also very important to use a proper sized pot. Although the recipe only makes about 2 cups, you will need a 2 1/2 to 3 quart/liter heavy bottomed saucepan because the sugar syrup will foam up considerably and produce a considerable amount of steam when the butter is added and again when the cream is added. These safety tips are not meant to deter, it's just good advice to make these sorts of things when you can take the time without distractions and give it your full attention. A successful caramel sauce is also one that has been given careful attention. With a little practice you will be a caramel ace in no time.