This simple homemade caramel sauce is just magic - it has serious flavors and easily outshines anything store-bought. Add some incredible, irresistible flavors to everything from ice cream to fruit, brownies, pies, cheesecakes, coffee, and more!
Keyword: Caramel sauce
2 heavy-bottomed saucepans
1 shallow pan large enough to hold the larger pan from above
ice to cool the sauce
measuring cups and spoons
digital fast-reading thermometer
spoons for tasting
1 1/2cuporganic raw sugarmore flavor than refined white sugar
1/2cuporganic raw brown sugarhas retained molasses for extra richness and color
1cuporganic heavy whipping cream
1/2cuporganic butter1 stick of butter
4tablespoonsbourbonthe heat cooks off the alcohol, leaving on the flavor
2teaspoonsfine sea salt
splashlemon juicehelps keep the caramel from hardening and thickening too quickly
Gather all of your ingredients and equipment together before beginning. Once the sugar starts to caramelize, things move quickly and you will need everything in reach.
Fill the shallow pan to within about 2" of the top, making sure to leave room for ice cubes. Set aside, away from the direct heat of the stove, but close enough to cool the caramel sauce quickly. You will need to add ice to this water just before quenching the caramel saucepot.
Add both sugars and water to the larger heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to combine. Add a splash of lemon juice. Turn heat to low-medium to melt the sugars and evaporate the water.
Add the butter and cream to the smaller heavy-bottomed saucepan. Turn the heat on low to melt the butter and mix with the cream.
As the sugar and water heat up, very gently stir to mix and melt the sugar into the water. Make sure you don't splash the sugar onto the sides of the pan, as it can burn.
Occasionally stir the butter and cream to ensure the butter is completely melted. Once it has melted, turn off the burner and leave the pan on the burner.
Closely monitor the sugar pan, as the caramelization process happens quickly at the end. It will begin to bubble as the water evaporates, and you'll smell the lemon juice aroma. The consistency of the syrup will change as it cooks into caramel, and the size and appearance of the bubbles will change as well.
As the temperature reaches 220°F the water will be completely evaporated and the lemon aroma will start to disappear. Start dipping the whisk into the syrup and dripping a couple of syrup drops on a white plate or spoon rest every couple of minutes to monitor the color change. If the temperature increase slows down or stops, you may need to increase the heat very slightly, depending on how low you started. Remember, the higher the heat, the faster the process – give yourself time to observe and react.
Once the temperature reaches 240°F, the caramelization process speeds up. Begin dipping the whisk into the thickening syrup more often, watching for a slight color change along with a thicker consistency.
As you reach 250°F, prepare the ice bath. Add ice to the shallow pan and position it in easy reach of the caramel pan. At this point, you have about 3-4 minutes left to complete the caramelization process.
The final caramelization takes place between 260-265°F, so monitor closely to avoid burning the sugar. Once the temperature is 265°F, shut off the heat and quickly but smoothly put the bottom of the caramel pan into the ice bath to stop the cooking. You will see an immediate slowing in the bubbles and the syrup begins to thicken. After about 30 seconds in the ice bath, replace the pan onto the same burner that is warm but unlit.
Give the butter and cream mixture a quick stir and start adding to the caramel. It will bubble some, but shouldn't spatter. Add about half of the butter and cream mixture, set the pan aside and stir the caramel mixture, making sure to work the bottom and sides of the pan well to get everything thoroughly mixed. Finish adding the rest of the butter and cream, stirring well to incorporate completely.
The sauce should still be warm and pliable, but cool enough to taste. Add vanilla or salt to your taste and stir well. If it cools too much and becomes thick, turn the heat back on very low and stir.
If you are adding the bourbon, do it now. Add half, stir in well and taste. It adds an extra dimension to the flavor, so taste and add in as needed to fine-tune to your taste and use.
Set pan aside on a cool burner. If using warm, use within a half hour or so, otherwise let cool for at least an hour before pouring into a jar or squeeze bottle.
From the Terroir Seeds test kitchen. Butterscotch Bourbon Salted Caramel Sauce https://underwoodgardens.com/butterscotch-bourbon-salted-caramel-sauce/