Ahh Fall, weather’s most underrated season! Everyone goes on and on about Christmas and New Year’s in the Winter, or the bloody tulips in the Spring, and not to mention the gentle breeze of a warm Summer’s day (ugh!). But if you ask me, Fall is the complete package! Its in-between weather means Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte makes an appearance, leaves on trees are busy changing colour, the beautiful jackets and scarves that are suddenly all over Pinterest, and sexy shots of apple pies flood the internet! Also, can’t help but notice salted caramel surging into the Fall culinary scene in a big way. Next thing you know, everything has salted caramel on it and I for one can’t complain!
Salted caramel was THE food craze of 2008 and it swept up the nation (yours, mine, ours, alien neighbour on Mars) in its wave of sticky sweet goodness. Enjoy this sauce drizzled on cake, apple slices, or just pour it into your mouth by the spoonful and wait for diabetes to hit.
Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker.
Yield: 2 cups of sauce / Prep: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes
What you need:
2 cups granulated sugar
11 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup 35% cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp Maldon flaky sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
What you do:
1. In a heavy sauce pan, add the sugar in an even layer. Heat the sugar in medium-high heat and start whisking once it begins to melt. It’ll eventually start to form clumps but don’t worry, just continue to whisk slowly until it melts back down. Stop whisking once all the sugar has melted; occasionally swirl the pan while the sugar cooks.
2. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a reddish-brown colour. I would normally use an instant-read thermometer but I didn’t have one on hand. If you do have one, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F; if you don’t have one, just keep an eye on it and make sure the sauce has a dark caramel colour without smelling like it’s burning.
3. Add the butter all at once and whisk into the caramel until it’s completely melted. Be careful as the caramel will bubble once the butter is added. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel, add the vanilla extract and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Whisk in the flaky sea salt to incorporate into the sauce. *If using regular sea salt, make sure it’s ground very fine before adding it to the caramel sauce.
4. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks but just make sure you warm it up before using.