This year’s Thanksgiving dinner was was a little different than usual for a few reasons… It ended up just being me, my mom and dad out at the lake cabin. I absolutely love being out at the lake for Thanksgiving. It’s so beautiful out there during the fall, its so serene and peaceful.
I was on dessert duty and I thought I would switch it up and instead of making classic pumpkin pie I would try making something new. I have recently started to follow a great cooking blog, Brown Eyed Baker, and I had noticed a delicious looking recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce.
The ingredients for the sauce are quite simple: sugar, butter, cream and salt. The hard part comes with caramelizing the sugar to right point… keep the sugar on too long and it will burn, don’t leave it on long enough and the sauce won’t have the right caramel flavour. Luckily I had my mom around to help me as she has lots of experience making candies and sauces.
Salted Caramel Sauce
– 2 cups granulated sugar
– 12 tablespoons of butter, cut into chunks
– 1 cup of heavy cream
– 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts.
Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep stirring and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.
Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
2. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.
3. As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.
5. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You might want to warm the sauce up before using.
The sauce smelled absolutely delicious; such a deep caramel flavour. There was one big problem with the sauce however… it was just too salty! We were concerned that a full tablespoon of salt would make the sauce too salty and it really did. I think next time I would either cut the amount of salt by a third or I would make the sauce without any salt at all and then just sprinkle some course salt on top of the caramel sauce when serving it.
I served the sauce on top of some rich, vanilla ice cream and sliced banana. The sweet ice cream helped cut the saltiness of the sauce, but the sauce was still a little too salty for my taste. Now I know for next time.