Salted caramel sauce is pure bliss. Don't believe me? You will after you taste this then. Caramel sauce is one of those items that many people avoid making at home, because they think it's way too difficult. Well trust me, it's not. If it was, I wouldn't make it either. But who knew, you could elevate something already delicious in it's own right like caramel sauce? Well, salted caramel sauce is caramel multiplied by 100. It is out of this world good. The flavor combination is amazing alone, but dip some chocolate in there and you have your own slice of heaven. I'm seriously not exaggerating here. If you don't think you like caramel, then you need make your own at home. It will turn you to a convert in no time.
Making caramel at home is not difficult, despite what some may have you believe. There are a few keys to success though. First, have all your ingredients at room temperature. Since we're using butter and heavy cream, it's important to make sure these ingredients are at room temp rather than being cold. Cold ingredients plus hot caramel equals a big no-no. Secondly, be prepared! (side note: that's one of my favorite Disney songs.) What I mean by being prepared is having all your ingredients not only measured out all the way, but to also have them all by your saucepan ready to go. I'm talking having everything near you. The pastry brush, whisk, rubber spatula, etc. Everything.You also want to prepare yourself by reading the recipe completely a few times and really understand the process before beginning. Thirdly, wet the sides. This is important step. If you don't wet the sides with your pastry brush throughout the process, you will have a grainy caramel. Consider that your first and only warning!
First, you want to use a heavy-bottom sauce pan and turn on the stove-top to medium heat. Combine the sugar and water in the saucepan. Ensure that the sugar is submerged in the water. Begin to cook the sugar, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
Once the sugar dissolves completely, leave the mixture alone on medium-high heat. Let it cook for anywhere from 5 to 13 minutes. During this cooking period, make sure you don't stir! Leave it alone. You should brush the sides with water from time to time though. This will ensure the sugars on the side won't crystallize and fall in your caramel.
Let it boil until it reaches a golden brown color. Don't take it off too early, even though you'll be tempted. Make sure to look at the bubble's color. Should be a golden brown nearly, instead of the light amber color. It will bubble. Don't worry about that.
Once the color is reached, take it off the heat and immediately drizzle in slowly, the heavy cream, while whisking constantly. This will cause the caramel to bubble, but that's normal. Whisk in the butter in pieces and whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in the salt and then the vanilla.
Pour the caramel into a different bowl and let it cool slightly. Then move it to your storage container and cover for up to two weeks refrigerated. It will thicken as it cools. Re-heat by microwaving carefully or submerging a heat-proof container full of caramel into simmering water.
See how I do it:
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Make sure the sugar is submerged in the water. Over medium heat, stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble. Make sure you use a slightly bigger saucepan than what you think you may need. Increase to a medium-high and leave it alone. Don't stir at this point at all. Make sure during this period, you brush the sides with water to ensure the sugar doesn't crystallize. Let the mixture boil until it reaches a nice golden brownish color. The darker the bubbles, the darker your end caramel will be. The lighter they are, the lighter your caramel will be. Once the proper color is achieved, remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream slowly. It will bubble up. That's normal. Just go slow and you'll be fine. Add in the butter in pieces and whisk in until fully incorporated. Whisk in the salt and then the vanilla. Pour the caramel sauce into a separate container to cool. It will thicken as it cools. Once cool enough, place in your squeeze bottle or plastic container to store. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Adjust the salt to taste. What may be salty to me, may not be salty to you. Remember though, this is supposed to be a salted caramel sauce. It's important to keep in mind to not touch this mixture once the sugar has completely dissolved. Let it sit and do it's thing until it reaches an amber color. Slightly darker actually. Also, keep brushing the sides with water throughout the whole process, periodically. Lastly, be careful! Caramel is very hot and if you're not careful, you'll burn yourself. The only way to clean your pan, easily, is to add water to it and to bring it to a boil. That will cook off the remaining caramel in there and it will instantly pour out. Making it much easier to clean.
Fall is officially official now. I know you guys have been doing what I've been doing. Searching for fall recipes, then testing them, then gaining some weight. Also, scrolling on Pinterest and Instagram at all hours of the night looking at food. Just me? Okay then. Well, you know a cool (no pun intended) way to incorporate the great flavors of fall? Ice cream! Not just any ice cream though. Some homemade ice cream will do the trick. This ice cream recipe is a more traditional, French-style ice cream. This means it's the recipe that involves egg yolks. Now, if raw eggs freak you out and you shutter at even the thought of using them, then feel free to try my egg-free base recipe on my site.
Though, it is a traditional method of making ice cream, it's still pretty simple. Just a few more steps, that's all. We also use a secret ingredient that will help keep our ice cream nice and creamy. Nonfat milk powder is the key. That's what many people in the ice cream industry use to keep their ice cream super creamy. Why does it work? Well, milk and cream are both used in our recipe. Milk and cream have a high water content believe it or not. So that's why sometimes when you're making ice cream at home, you end up with those nasty ice crystals. If I wanted to eat ice crystals, I'll have a freeze pop or a snow cone. Anyways, the milk powder helps absorb that water, making a creamier ice cream. Okay, I'm done with my Alton Brown impersonation for now. Let's get to this recipe.
Prepare an ice bath in a bowl big enough to fit your saucepan. Combine your milk, both sugars, vanilla and milk powder in your liquid measuring cup.
Combine the egg yolks in a bowl.
Place your milk mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about five minutes our until the lumps completely dissolve.
Add the cream in and whisk. Cook for about five minutes or until it reaches 110°F.
Take off the heat. Temper the milk mixture into the egg yolks by adding a half a cup, slowly in a stream while whisking constantly.
Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the milk and cream and put it back on medium heat.
Stir with a rubber spatula every now and then and cook on medium heat until 165°F is reached or until it passes the spoon test.
Place the saucepan into your prepared ice bath and let it cool stirring for the first minute. Cool for about 15-20 minutes.
Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a plastic container. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to overnight.
After you refrigerate the base, pour the base into your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Every machine will be different. Mine is a Cuisinart and it usually takes about 15-25 minutes to churn proper ice cream. You don't want to over churn, because you'll get grainy ice cream. You want to churn enough for air to incorporate to produce a light, creamy ice cream.
Once churned enough, move to a plastic container that has been pre-frozen for about 5-10 minutes. Swirl in your caramel sauce lightly. Don't overdo it like I did. Once you're done adding the caramel sauce, move to a pre-frozen plastic container to freeze. I have an actual ice cream container that freezes great that I bought from Amazon. Tovolo Sweet Treats Tub - Raspberry.
If you want to freeze it in the same mix-in container that's fine too. Freeze for up to four hours or overnight.
Before serving, let it sit out for around 5 minutes or up to 10 minutes for it to get to the perfect scooping consistency.
See how I do it:
- ½ c granulated sugar or cane sugar
- ¼ c light or dark brown sugar
- ½ c skim milk powder
- 1 ⅔ c whole milk
- 1 ⅔ c heavy cream
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
Prepare an ice bath in a large heat proof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugars, milk powder and milk. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Make sure the milk powder is dissolved into the mixture and there are no lumps. Stir in the cream and whisk in over medium low heat.
Cook the mixture, stirring often with a rubber spatula over medium heat. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Mix until 110°F, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in ½ cup of hot milk-cream mixture to temper the egg yolks. Continue to whisk until even in color.
Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the milk and cream.
Return the pan to the stove top over medium heat, continue cooking, stirring often until it reaches 165°F, 5-10 minutes. Another way to test if it's ready is if it coats the back of a spoon and if you run your finger through it, the milk stays separated.
Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the ice cream base into a plastic container through a wire-mesh strainer. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Transfer the cooled base to the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
After churning, place in a frozen plastic container and swirl in the caramel sauce with a knife. Pour the ice cream into a frozen container.
Serve immediately or place in freezer for a few hours or overnight before serving.
You can let the ice cream temper and sit out for about 5-10 minutes. You can use homemade caramel sauce or store bought caramel sauce.