The Best and Easiest Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
I've found this salted caramel sauce to be the best, easiest, least fussy, and it's ready in 15 minutes. The sauce is creamy, buttery, rich, thick, smooth, and blows away anything you'll ever buy.Yield: about 1 1/4 cups
|1 cup||granulated sugar|
|1 teaspoon||agave (can be omitted but helps reduce crystallization)|
|1/2 cup||heavy whipping cream|
|1 tablespoon||vanilla extract, or burbon, rum, or favorite liquor|
|1/2 to 1 teaspoon||salt, optional and to taste|
1. Have all the ingredients in place including hot mitts and a glass jar or heat-safe container nearby. You're working with boiling sugar and your full attention on the recipe is necessary.
2. In a medium to large saucepan (use a pan much larger than you think you'll need because the sauce will bubble very vigorously at the end), add the sugar, water, and agave and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
3. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 to 12 minutes, or as necessary, for it to turn caramel-colored, at which point it will likely be smoking slightly. The final stage where the mixture turns from pale amber to that perfect shade of caramel can go quickly, in less than 30 seconds, so keep a watchful eye and don't let it burn. Super stinky and you'll have to start over. Throughout the boiling time, you can swirl the pan gently every minute or two if necessary, but the less the sugary mixture gets on the sides of the pan, the better in preventing crystallization in the final sauce.
As soon as the sauce has turned caramel-colored, reduce the heat to low.
4. Very carefully and slowly, add the cream. Stand back because mixture will bubble up considerably.
5. Optionally, and very carefully, add the vanilla and salt, to taste. Stand back because mixture will bubble up again.
5. Whisk until sauce is smooth and combined, and let it boil another 1 minute, which helps thicken it up.
6. Transfer sauce to glass jar or heat-safe container (easiest to pour into a 2-cup measuring cup and then easily pour into glass jar). Allow sauce to cool uncovered to room temperature; sauce thickens considerably as it cools. Sauce will keep airtight at room temp for at least 1 month, although will likely last much longer; use common sense if giving as gifts with storage considerations.