Buttery and sweet, this is the best homemade salted caramel sauce ever! This sauce is so simple that is made with just 5 ingredients but tastes a thousand times better than a store-bought one! The ingredients for this sauce, I bet you could find somewhere in your kitchen.
Salted caramel sauce is the perfect topping for fruit like apples or strawberries, desserts like cakes or ice creams, even for drinks ( and if you are a Starbucks lover, you should probably have tried their Caramel macchiato, it’s amazing!). Yet, this sauce only takes 15 minutes to whip it up!
What are the good things about homemade sauce? Well, it comes to the taste first! I always enjoy the true caramel flavor, richness in cream and butter, the scent of vanilla, which I hardly find in any jar from store-bought. Also, homemade stuff doesn’t have artificial colors or preservatives, which is the key to being fresh and healthy. And if you are a caramel lover, you should not skip this recipe as you will be licking the spoon over and over 🙂 .
JUST 5 SIMPLE INGREDIENTS
Caramel sauce is a combination of sugar, heavy cream, butter, pinch of salt and vanilla extract. You can use half and half milk to replace with heavy cream if you wish the sauce to be lighter, but trust me, heavy cream or whipping cream will bring out the richness of caramel sauce. The important thing is to control the heat level while sugar is being cooked and when to move to the next step.
YOUR CHOICE OF FLAVOR
The degree of caramelization depends on your personal choice of flavor. Darker browns will bring a richer caramel flavor, a bittersweet complexity while the light brown will be sweeter. The flavor will be formed once the sugar starts to melt and the cooking process would stop at the time you add the butter into the caramel. It is recommended that you should add the butter when the color turns almost dark brown (amber), but it should not be black brown (It’s almost burnt!).
A FEW NOTES BEFORE GETTING STARTED:
- Focus on every moment to avoid caramel burns. The temperature during the caramel making process will be extremely high so be careful with your face and body.
- Use the temperature and color to check. If you don’t have a thermometer, use the color of sugar as a guide. My tips for this is, stop cooking when the caramel is turning to golden brown ( or is between 330 to 350F). Anything above that, the sugar will burn.
- Using granulated sugar can help prevent caramel from crystallization. Another option is to use a little bit of corn syrup. As I adore the flavor of caramel, in this recipe I don’t use corn syrup.
- Heavy cream (or rich milk) and the butter should be at room temperature to avoid splattering when they are added to the hot caramel.
- In this recipe I don’t use water added to cook the sugar. For beginners it is recommended to add water to moisture the sugar before caramelization as this would help sugar caramelize very evenly, meaning it is easier to control the degree to which sugar will burn.
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE?
Caramel sauce can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for at least a month and can be frozen for up to 3 months. You should reheat or warm it up before serving. Caramel sauce is great served warm, at room temperature or chilled, depending on what kind of food or desserts you want along with this sauce.
Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon (25g) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add sugar to a saucepan, heat over medium-low. Allow the sugar to dissolve in a few minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium high. Cook the sugar to caramelize by stirring until it turns medium brown (not too dark). No water needed in this step, the sugar will dissolve by itself. It would take 5-6 minutes for the caramel to reach 330F. Then reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Add the butter into the sauce. Bubbles may come in this step but keep whisking constantly and gently. The butter will stop the caramel cooking process and leave the smooth texture of the sauce. In this step you would find the color of caramel a bit lighter.
- Remove from the heat. Carefully add salt and the heavy cream and stir until the sauce smooths out.
- Let the sauce cool a bit and when it's still warm, then transfer to a jar or container. Store at room temperature or chilled in the fridge. Reheat for a few seconds before serving.