Mastering the art of making homemade caramel isn’t anything daunting. What with intimidating recipes of homemade Dulce de Leche requiring you to boil a can of condensed milk in scalding hot water for hours. This recipe will take a fraction of an hour to prepare; the only major requirement being a keen eye for color.
Taken from the dessert book Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, this recipe for Homemade Caramel has just the right amount of sweetness, with pulses of salt to accentuate and heighten the brown sugar and vanilla flavors. It’s important to note that if you’re using the local cream substitutes that come in tetra packs (yes, that’s right: cream substitutes), you might find a bit of crystallization occurring as the caramel reaches its boiling temperature. This will require some straining (and patience), but the silky, velvety product is worth the wait.
Serve it warm on top of bread puddings, as a filling for molten chocolate cakes, or as a topping on your favorite ice cream, this Homemade Caramel is as versatile as it can be, yet keeping it classy and simple at the same time.
Total Time: 25 minutes / Yield: 1 1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup (7 oz) white sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (we used The Vanilla Company’s bourbon vanilla extract)
- Pour the water into a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat.
- Add the sugar, pouring it in a thin stream into the center of the pan to form a low mound.
- Using your fingers, pat the sugar down until it is entirely moistened.
- Cook uncovered, without stirring, for a few minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup begins to color slightly.
- Swirl the pan gently if the caramel seems to be coloring unevenly.
- Once the caramel looks amber, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour a generous amount of the cream into the pot (the caramel will steam and bubble furiously).
- Add the remaining cream, and stir over low heat to dissolve any caramel, then simmer for a minute or two.
- Turn the heat off then strain if there are any solid particles until it is smooth and creamy.*
- Turn off the heat, stir in the salt and vanilla.
- Serve warm or cool.
- Solid particles will begin to form if you use cream substitutes such as our local tetra-packed cream brands. In this case, we used Nestlé.
- This recipe comes from the book Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts.