Do you ever get a project idea or recipe in your mind that you just have to try? I tend to get fixated on something (usually food-related) and can’t let go until I check the random fixation off my list. This was the case with the pear tart…which led to a Homemade Caramel Sauce obsession.
When browsing the web for pear tart inspiration, I stumbled upon Ina Garten’s faaaaan-freaking-tastic homemade caramel sauce recipe. And it all went downhill from there…desserts galore at our house lately. During wedding season. WHYYYY…..?!
Now I fully intend to bring you down with me. Step 1…homemade caramel sauce. You will NOT believe how good this is…and you’ll be forced to make it after I share with you all of the yummies you can put it on.
Homemade Caramel Sauce Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I poured mine in instead of measuring and accidentally used about double the amount I should’ve…and it was delicious. I recommend using a full teaspoon for that richly vanilla-y flavor.)
- Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. (I stirred…not sure why you’re not allowed to besides the fact that the sugar sticks to your spoon big time.)
- Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. (Who has a candy thermometer? Not me! You’re just going to have to watch it, my friends. It takes a while to turn that light brown caramel color…don’t fret, it will happen. Oh, and they weren’t lying about how darn hot this stuff gets…totally burned my finger trying to taste it off the spoon. Idiot…)
- Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. Don’t worry – The cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits. (I put it in a glass jelly jar that I recycled and stuck it in the fridge.)
It’s so creamy, smooth and sweet with that rich touch of vanilla. I’m telling you this caramel is so good I’m thinking about giving jars of this as Christmas presents. You will thank me and hate me at the same time…sooooo good…can’t stop eating it…(just ran to the fridge for a bite and it’s better than ever).
Traditionally I’ve been more of a hot fudge girl than a caramel girl, but this recipe has converted me.
Zach-o-meter: and I have been looking for anything and everything to put this caramel on…and have succeeded. FYI – it’s great right out of the jar too. We’ve both rationalized the excessive sweet eating with our celebratory time of the year – Zach’s birthday and our 1-year anniversary! Next post I’ll share with you is Zach-o-meter’s birthday “cake”…
Printer Friendly Version: Dine with a Darling – Homemade Caramel Sauce