This smooth and buttery homemade caramel sauce is flavored with a touch of salt. An easy recipe that is rich and decadent and goes great with ice cream, desserts and baked goods. The perfect Fall and holiday complement.
Prep Time:2 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:17 minutes
Yield:2 cups 1x
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Sugar
1 cup warm Heavy Cream
4 tablespoons Butter (room temperature)
2 teaspoons coarse Sea Salt
Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir only until combined.
For the rest of the cooking process, do not stir. You will be tempted but I’ve tried cooking caramel sauce several different ways and this is a no-fail process for me.
Cook until it becomes a deep amber color, anywhere from 12-15 minutes. Watch closely once the sugar mixture turns to a light brown color. It can get away from you and burn quite quickly after this stage.
While the sugar and water are cooking, warm the cream in the microwave.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the warmed heavy cream. Make sure it is not cold or it will cause the caramel to harden.
Be careful because the caramel will bubble and sputter up the sides of the pan. Whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Add the butter and salt. Whisk until it is completely combined.
Set aside to cool.
Use a large heavy-bottomed pan. Thin pans distribute heat unevenly which in this case could cause the caramel to burn in certain spots.
The pan should be large enough for an expansion of the ingredients through the cooking process. There’s a lot of bubbling and sputtering that takes place, especially when you add the heavy cream at the end.
Make sure to use only white refined sugar, not brown or raw cane sugar. These other sugars contain impurities that inhibit the caramelization process. Always select sugar that is from the sugar cane or sugar beets when making caramel sauce.
Make sure your pan and sugar are perfectly clean and free of any stray particles. This may seem a bit silly but if there are any other crumbs or specks the sugar will latch onto them and a solid mass will form and crystalize.
Stir the sugar and water only until they are combined. Once you start cooking, DO NOT stir again until you add the cream. You will (like me) be tempted to stir the mixture while it is boiling but if you do, the agitation will cause the sugar to crystallize and become graining.
Watch it like a hawk once the mixture starts turning brown because it can get out of control in just a few seconds and burn quite quickly.
It is important to warm the cream before stirring it in. You can do this while the sugar and water are cooking. Cold cream will cause the caramel to harden.
Once you add the cream, the caramel will sputter and foam up the sides of the pan. Stir vigorously until it is all combined. Be careful because the mixture is extremely hot.