Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tasty Tuesday ~ Caramel Sauce

I had thought about making my own caramel sauce for the last couple of years, but I was always too intimidated to try it.  I was making a dessert for my wedding anniversary last week and it called for caramel.  The recipe said to melt a bag of caramels and mix with evaporated milk to make a caramel sauce.  I decided this was my chance to attempt homemade caramel sauce!  I can be crazy like that.

I looked at several recipes and then ended up with my own measurements.  This makes a little thicker sauce, close to the consistency of melted caramels.

Simple ingredients!

The sugar turns to crystals and then starts to melt.

Carmelized sugar.

All mixed together!

The finished product!
I need to *confess* that I burnt the first batch!  And I almost ruined the second batch!  I'll give you the recipe and then some helpful tips.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put sugar in large (2-3 quart because it will foam up) saucepan with a heavy bottom.  Over medium-high heat, stir sugar with wooden spoon or whisk until it begins to clump in crystals, then stir constantly.  Keep stirring until sugar melts completely and has a *caramel* color.  Add butter (some foaming will occur) and stir constantly with whisk until butter melts.  Remove pan from heat.  Pour cream slowly in pan while stirring briskly with whisk - mixture will foam up.  Keep stirring until caramel is smooth.  Add vanilla extract and stir.  Pour caramel in glass jar to cool.  After cooling, refrigerate.  Can be kept in refrigerator 2 weeks and heated up to use as necessary.

Tips:
~ Have all ingredients measured out and ready to go - no time for leaving the stove!
~ Wear hot pads!  When the mixture foams up, it's very hot and you should protect your hands/arms.
~ If your carmelized sugar mixture smells burnt or like strong molasses, don't add your butter & cream 'cause you already burnt the sugar and nothing will fix it.  Ask me how I know.  :)
~ Don't let the melting sugar get too dark - it changes from carmelized to burnt really fast!
~ Practice with a half batch to get the hang of it.
~ Don't use a skimpy pan or the bottom will get too hot and your sugar will be more likely to burn.
~ If the mixture clumps when adding cream, put it back on heat and keep stirring until smooth.
~ If you want a less thick caramel sauce, you can try increasing the butter and/or cream.

Is that helpful?  Or too confusing?  Once you try it a couple of times, you start to get a feel for it.  Here are a couple of helpful links with more info on making caramel sauce:

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/caramel_sauce/
http://video.about.com/americanfood/Easy-Caramel-Sauce.htm 

Have you made your own caramel sauce?  Let me know if you give it a try!  It's soooo delicious!  You'll have to stop back here for CHOCOLATE Friday to see what I used this caramel sauce for!

I linked up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam today!  Stop by for all sorts of yummy recipes!

Have a tasty day friends!  :)

11 comments:

  1. I Love this recipe! Would be a great Christmas giveaway....
    LIB
    http://bit.ly/bOPxeO

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  2. Looks delicious! I haven't been brave enough to try this (yet).

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  3. You should get the book Ratio... awesome book on cooking and I think he has caramel sauce in it.

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  4. I make my own caramel sauce too and it is so much better than the store bought! I will have to try your recipe!!

    Love and Blessings

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  5. So what you're saying is have twice as many ingredients on hand so WHEN you mess up you won't have to go back to the store for more. LOL!

    It does look delicious my friend. Can't wait to see what you made with it.

    Big sugar, butter and cream gets me all excited no matter if burnt or not size hugs to you!

    Love you my friend.

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  6. I LOVE making my own caramel sauce but it can be tricky:-)

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  7. I'm a bit jealous that you got it on your second try! That is talent. :) I ruined three or four batches before making one that worked, but wasn't very thick. >:( Can't wait to try again with your tips and recipe!

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  8. I look forward to trying this! (Although I am a bit hesitant after hearing how tricky it is!)

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  9. Lisa,
    This looks absolutely delicious! The weather is so perfect for a recipe like this right now!
    hugs to you,
    genny

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I would love to hear your comments! Thank you for stopping and smelling the chocolates with me!! Currently disabled anonymous comments due to spam attempts - thanks for understanding!

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