Thursday, June 18, 2015

Caramel Sauce

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! It's time for the sundaes to come out, ice cream cones to become a regular thing and toppings galore. I've got some ideas for more ice cream recipes (and by ideas, I mean already curated recipes from the professionals) but before we get there, let's talk about toppings.

I'm a huge fan of hot fudge sundaes. Melty chocolate melting probably chocolate ice cream is heaven. Recently, I had a friend over to have some wine and discuss the trials and tribulations of dating in this day and age. We also decided to make this an ice cream date so I thought it was a good time to test out some toppings in the form of caramel sauce.



This recipe is simple in its ingredients, the most difficult part is making the caramel without burning the sugar. Or your fingers. While I was cooking the sugar, I burned my fingers pretty badly. Even I surprise myself sometimes at my failure to recognize that I'm boiling sugar, boiling means hot, hot means no touching! I'd say lesson learned but I'm sure it will happen again.

Sugar, water and corn syrup are combined in a saucepan. I used the smallest one I had just to prevent the sugar from spreading out too thinly and burning. I was skeptical that it only called for a total of 3 Tablespoons of liquid to 1 cup of sugar but it worked out just fine. Once the sugar turns a nice caramel color, we add the butter. I definitely recommend measuring the ingredients beforehand so you can just keep stirring as you add things.

The butter cooks a bit so you'll get some brown butter bits floating around but those will disappear as you whisk the final product. If you've ever used browned butter, it's basically like that where we're cooking the butter but the water is crackling out of it. Cream and vanilla are added last. This stuff gets sticky fast and can be reheated. Let it cool a little before serving because it's likely still quite hot.

When I refrigerated this, the butter separated out a little so make sure you store it in a container that can be microwaved. Then you can re-mix and serve warm with your sundaes.

From Joy the Baker's first cookbook
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of water
  • 1 Tablespoon of light corn syrup
  • 6 Tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • Dash of vanilla
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, water and corn syrup. Stir continuously until the mixture turns an amber-caramel color.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter until it's melted. The mixture will still be hot so the butter will melt quickly and may splatter. 
  3. Once the butter is melted, stir in the heavy cream. The caramel will become smooth but will thicken more as it cools. Add the vanilla last.
  4. You can serve immediately over ice cream but it might melt things quickly. Ideally, allow the mixture to cool. Store in a jar in the fridge.
  5. Reheat as needed and enjoy your ice cream!

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