I'm not a huge fan of sweets, never have been. However, if you put a container of caramel in front of me, I will eat it until I am sick to my stomach. A party isn't complete without some form of sugar, and this versatile and tasty treat is good for all kinds of foods. Spoon it on ice cream. Drizzle it on fruit. Use it for a dip. The possibilities are basically endless. The process is really simple, but there are a couple of tricks to make everything run smoothly. And it only requires 3 ingredients! Score!
- Use a heavy bottomed pan with tall sides. It needs to be heavy bottomed or else the sugar will cook too quickly and burn. And no one wants to eat burnt sugar. I used a cheap-o pan the very first time I tried this, and it was a sticky disaster. You need tall sides because the mixture will bubble vigorously when you add the butter and cream. Melted sugar is way hotter than boiling water so splatters can be dangerous. It's so hot that I melted my favorite spoon the first time...and yes, that was the same first time I burnt the sauce. It was not a very good first try, but at least I can pass on some tricks.
- You need everything readily accessible and be ready to move quickly. My pictures are a tad blurry, because it really is a fast process. If you don't whisk quickly enough, especially when you add the cream, your sauce could come out lumpy.
- Don't be afraid! It's really not too difficult and the results are pretty outstanding. I also throw in a sprinkle of fleur de sel at the end, because I'm fancy like that. :)
- If you're really afraid of burning the sauce, there are several recipes online that add water to the sugar. This will ensure a slower and more even cooking time, but it will take longer to fully carmalize the sugar. Honestly, it's really not necessary if you use a heavy bottom pan and only turn it to medium heat.
Ready? Let's get saucy. I really can't help it. Bad puns are in my nature.