Caramel is one of my favorite flavors, and making your own caramel sauce is probably easier than you think. The keys to caramel are attention, timing, and fearlessness. Read through the recipe a few times, then have all your ingredients ready to add. Keep an eye on your mixture, and don’t worry if the mixture seizes a bit when you add the heavy cream – just keep stirring, and it will become smooth. Most of all, don’t be afraid – the worst thing that happens is you have to start over.
I don’t usually include the step-by-step photos in my blog posts, but since caramel-making instructions can be vague, I wanted to give you a visual – pictures are below. Good luck!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pats
Place sugar in a medium saucepan; shake gently to form an even layer. Add water, but don’t stir; allow the water to completely moisten the sugar, then place over medium heat.
Allow mixture to cook to dissolve the sugar; it will look cloudy (step 1). Once the sugar dissolves completely, allow the mixture to cook on medium-high until it turns an amber color, which can take 5-10 minutes; mine began to turn amber around 6 minutes into cooking and I gently shifted my pan a bit to keep the heat even as the mixture began to darken (step 2). When the mixture is almost evenly browned (step 3 – I pulled mine when all but the very center of my mixture had turned amber), remove from heat. Very carefully add heavy cream, stirring well, then add butter and continue to stir until completely smooth (step 4). The mixture will bubble up when the cold cream hits the hot sugar mixture, so watch out for splashes and be careful not to get burned.
Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Caramel will last in the fridge for about 1 month.