Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking

It’s been a crazy past couple weeks around here. I’ve got my fingers in a lot of pots at the moment, with articles to type, photos to take, and Oregon house-hunting finally on the horizon! Yes, my friends, we’re finally taking the big leap and going up north for a few days to poke around the Portland metro area. Neither myself nor Jeremy has ever looked for a home before, so if you have any house-hunting tips, please feel free to toss it this way. I kiiiind of have no idea what I’m doing. I mean, I’m vaguely aware of the steps that need to be taken, but any pointers on getting from one step to another would be pretty amazing.

 

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I’ve been keeping busy with a lot of recipe contributions lately, and right now I have a few recipes up at Simple & Crisp’s journal. These tasty little bites include dark chocolate & orange mini-sundaesblood orange cocktails, and my favorite of the three, pancetta, cheddar, & sage apple crisps. And you may have seen me share this on Facebook or Twitter yesterday, but I have a guest post up over at Cup of Jo for this decadent and wonderful homemade caramel sauce, and Jo and Shoko were kind enough to encourage me share it here, as well!
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking
This caramel recipe has been there for me through thick and thin. I’ve made it for myself, friends, family, and guests and used it in a wide variety of frostings, fillings, and toppings. I’ve incorporated it into buttercream, I’ve drizzled it over sheet cake, I’ve cored and stuffed apples with it, and I’ve even boiled it down to a thick paste and used it to fill the macarons at my own wedding. This, my friends, is the best caramel sauce. And because it’s the best caramel sauce, my absolute favorite way to enjoy it is to simply pour it over a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, so I get every little burst of its rich, buttery, toasted caramel flavor.
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking
There are two keys components to this recipe. The first is to cook down the granulated sugar until it starts “toasting” and begins to turn amber-colored. This brings out all the deep, nutty flavors of the sugar. The second is to add in brown sugar immediately afterwards. Brown sugar has a little bit of molasses in it naturally, and it brings a wonderful buttery, warm note to the party that granulated sugar can’t create on its own. And when the two combine with the rest of the ingredients, you get a caramel sauce unrivaled by any in human history. And that, my friends, is why I’ve used this recipe so many times and in so many ways, because when something’s the best, it just makes everything you add it to that much better.
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking

The Best Caramel Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, mix together the water and the granulated sugar over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Bring the heat down to medium and continue boiling until the mixture turns a light caramel color, stirring once every two minutes or so. It can take up to 15 minutes for the clear syrup to turn light caramel-colored, but the exact speed will depend upon the heat intensity of your stovetop.
  2. Once the syrup turns that light amber hue, quickly remove the pot from the heat and immediately stir in the heavy cream, butter, and brown sugar until incorporated. Be careful when adding the ingredients, however, as the mixture will spit and hiss a bit. If the sugar begins to clump up when you're stirring do not worry, just stir as best as you can for about 30 seconds and then place the pot on the stovetop over medium heat until the mixture reaches a boil. Once it is boiling again, stir it until the sugar chunk dissolves and the mixture is smooth.
  3. When the caramel smoothes out, allow the mixture to simmer for 3-5 minutes more so that it thickens slightly. Remove from the stovetop and stir in the vanilla extract and the salt. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If refrigerated, the caramel will solidify slightly, simply heat it up a bit to get it back to drizzling consistency.
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking
 
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking
Homemade Caramel | Adventures in Cooking
 
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