I have been in an ice cream mood recently. I have mostly been thinking about ice cream toppings recently. Maybe its because we went to my favorite ice cream place this last weekend. Or maybe it is because I can't help but dream about sweet ooey gooey things. Either way I have been thinking about caramel sauce and all its wonderfulness. I absolutely adore a good caramel. None of this low fat or no fat stuff. I actually really don't like store bought caramels (most of them). I love the kind of caramel that is made with lots of good butter and cream. I mean if you are going to eat it on ice cream what is the point of going low fat? That's right, there is none, so go ahead, give in to your inner caramel snob self, and make this delightful caramel. You won't be disappointing!
Divine Caramel Sauce
*Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream (room temperature or slightly warmed preferably)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Set the pan over low heat and stir the mixture gently until the sugar is dissolved. I don’t ever get a completely clear syrup but I let it warm over medium-low heat (a 3 on my stovetop) for at least 6-10 minutes before moving to the next step. To be sure the sugar is dissolved, I’ll dip a spoon in the sugar mixture and then gently slide my finger over the mixture on the spoon and take a taste. If the sugar is dissolved, the syrup will be smooth and not at all grainy. If you still feel grains of sugar, keep stirring over low heat until it is completely dissolved. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before letting the mixture come to a boil. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to medium or medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Cover the saucepan and let the syrup boil for 2 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to boil the syrup until the edges start to turn golden brown. Carefully and gently stir the syrup until it turns a deep amber, caramel color. On my stove, this takes about 5-7 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the butter. Gently but quickly stir until the butter is incorporated. Stir in the cream. If the sauce becomes lumpy and isn’t whisking together, set the pan over low heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature. Store the sauce in a jar or airtight container, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Reheat on low power in the microwave or in a saucepan, adding a tablespoon of two or water, if needed, if the sauce is too thick.
Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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