If you love caramel, you will love this. This is truly the best caramel recipe we have tried and believe us we tried many. Making homemade caramel can seem intimidating. Boiling hot sugar, the fear of scorching or burning it is scary. We scrubbed our pots several times after failed attempts. However, the sheer satisfaction when you finally get it right is so rewarding. Therefore, we encourage you to try it for yourself. This silky smooth homemade caramel is beyond easy to make and perfectly paired with dark chocolate or sea salt.
What is caramel?
As per the definition, caramel is a medium to dark-orange confectionery product made by heating a variety of sugars. We have tried to use raw cane sugar, however, that did not result in a soft and smooth texture, therefore we recommend to stick to regular granulated white sugar. The taste profile depends on how long you cook it, it can be a light blond or a rich deep brown. The darker the color of the caramel the more intense it becomes. If you prefer a bitter taste then the darker caramel is for you. This caramel can be used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, or as a topping for ice cream, and custard or as soft caramel candy. You will never buy caramel again, because this one is simply delicious and versatile.
- 300 g / 1 1/2 cups Granulated White Sugar
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup Water
- 240 ml / 1 cup Cream 35% fat
- 70 g / 2.45 oz Butter 82% fat
- Vanilla Bean Pod (optional)
Utensils: Whisk, pastry brush with glass of water, bowl of cold water
Before you start, ensure you have all your ingredients and utensils ready. The cream and butter need to have room temperature. You can flavor your cream with the vanilla bean. Simply split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape out the vanilla seed pulp with the back of your knife right into the cream.
Put the sugar into a wide, thick walled saucepan and add the water to it. Stir the mixture lightly to combine the water with the sugar. The sugar should be completely soaked in. Ensure the mass is evenly distributed in the saucepan. DO NOT STIR AGAIN once the sugar is on heat. Place the saucepan on high heat and let it bubble away. The caramel needs to be left alone. The only thing you can do is gently clean the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to ensure no sugar remains on the sides. Let the sugar mix boil until it has completely dissolved and the mass starts to turn into your desired color. We turned off the heat once it reached an amber color. You see the color turning quickly from the outside of the pan towards the middle.
Vigorously whisk in the cream and keep stirring it until fully combined. Be careful and do not place your head over the saucepan. It will steam quite a bit. It is best to turn on the extractor before pouring the cream into the the sugar.
Turn the heat back on to low heat, stir in the butter and continue cooking the caramel for another 25 to 30 minutes, if you want to make soft caramel squares like in the picture. You can check the consistency of the caramel in between by dropping a teaspoon full of caramel into a bowl of cold water. The mass has the right texture when you are able to form a soft ball. Once done pour the caramel into a parchment lined baking tray and let it sit at room temperature to cool down. Cut it into squares and sprinkle salt flakes on top or enrobe it with dark chocolate.
- Caramel Sauce, if you wish to make a sauce then simply stop cooking the caramel after 5 to 10 min depending on the desired consistency. Pour into a mason jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Salted Caramel, add 1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt or Fleur de Sel to the cooked caramel and stir it until evenly combined. Cook the caramel to your desired consistency.
- Caramel Apples, a fall favorite are caramelized apples. Simply put your favorite apples on a stick and dip them into the caramel sauce. Let them dry and enjoy.
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