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12 February 2014

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Because I haven't seen salted caramel syrup on the supermarket shelves in Italy for years, I actually forgot all about it completely. Until, I had to make one for a recipe that I was developing. Maybe if I was somewhere else, I could have easier access to it with just one trip to the local supermarket but I am in the outskirt of Rome so supplies are nil and that means only one thing. I have to make my own syrup from scratch. Besides, it is the best time to use my growing collection of fleur de sel.

I referred to a lot of recipes both at the internet and my cookbooks. The cooking styles don't differ much from each other because it's quite a simple and easy recipe but with a lot of room for errors if timing is not right. So let's not undermine the recipe's simplicity. Timing here is essential and your visual and perception of smell are also vital especially if you don't have a candy thermometer to check the right temperature. Let's face it. Not all of us have it, like me. I didn't think my meat thermometer had a long enough needle to put in the saucepan and I didn't want to risk burning my fingers.

I have already used my salted caramel syrup in two other recipes and I can't stop mixing it with anything that I can claim possibly good with it. Grilled mochi, vanilla ice cream, pinwheels and I can still think of other goodies I can dribble it with. 

So, start getting the ingredients and make your own syrup at home! Buon appetito!

More Recipes With Caramel:

Creme Caramel With Cinnamon and Brandy Sauce  
Plantain Pouches With Nougat & Rum Caramel Sauce
Coconut Rice Pudding With Mango Puree and Rum Caramel Sauce

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Yields 1-1/2 cups
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (can be substituted with sea salt or kosher salt)
  1. In a thick-bottomed saucepan with tall sides (mixture rises), over medium heat, spread the sugar in an even layer. 
  2. When the edges of the sugar start to melt, drag it towards the center to prevent burning. Some spots in the middle can start to liquefy too so just mix it with the rest of the unmelted sugar. Don't overstir.
  3. If the liquefied sugar is starting to darken and the rest of the sugar hasn't melted yet, lower the heat for a while. Tilt the pan to distribute the liquefied sugar well.
  4. Put back the heat to low-medium. Check if all the sugar has melted and has already taken on a rich amber color. It should also have a slightly toasted aroma and is starting to smoke. Add the butter. The mixture should rise at this point.
  5. With a whisk, amalgamate the mixture well. When the mixture is smooth, add the cream. It will rise again. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Cook over low-medium heat for another 10 minutes, whisking the whole time. 
  7. Add the salt and whisk for another minute.
  8. Let it cool and keep in a sterile jar.