Wednesday, November 20, 2013

the easiest salted caramel sauce

Usually when I write about a recipe, it's because I've read a lot about the dish at hand.
I read a ton of recipes, decide which ingredients I like/dislike, then add something to make it my own.
Which usually ends up being cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, or some combination of the three.
Let's be honest.

But sometimes I'll come across something that works perfectly the way it's written.
I won't be able to think of any way to improve it, which is weird, because making recipes my own is one of the things I love most about cooking.
Everything is so easy to personalize.

This salted caramel sauce is one of those things.
Before I made this, I had never attempted caramel before.
It always seemed so intimidating.
Especially because in the midst of research, there are always the people obsessed with candy thermometers.
"You must have a candy thermometer! Your caramel will burn! Don't even attempt this if you don't know the exact heat!!!"

Well I've got news for all of you.
I successfully made a delicious caramel sauce, sans thermometer, and it really wasn't hard!
So you can do it too, trust me!

I couldn't really get pictures of the process since it requires your full attention, but believe me when I say it's totally doable and worth the effort.
And there's only four ingredients.
So yeah, there's that.

tutorial via Two Peas & Their Pod
Things you'll need:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sea salt {optional}

Before you get started, prep your ingredients.
Cube the butter.  Measure out the cream and sugar.
This will make it a lot easier to ensure the sugar doesn't burn.
Heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to melt.
Begin whisking the sugar as it melts.
It will clump and stick to the whisk a bit, but keep going.  Eventually it will become smooth.
Once smooth, the original recipe says to stop whisking and swirl the pan around while the sugar continues to cook.
However, I just lifted the pan a bit and continued to whisk {since I don't have a thermometer to keep watch on the temp}.
Continue cooking the sugar until it turns a deep amber color {the color you want your caramel to be!}.

Once the sugar reaches the desired color, carefully whisk in the butter until melted.
Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly whisk in the heavy cream until completely incorporated and smooth.
Whisk in sea salt, if desired.
Allow caramel to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a jar to cool to room temperature.
This recipe yields about two cups of caramel sauce.
I cooled 1 1/2 cups of it and served the other 1/2 cup immediately with mini wonton apple pies!

recipe found here

For any other caramel sauce, the only thing I would've thought to do is stir in some salt.
And, of course, Maria and Josh beat me to it.
This sauce is so delicious and will last in your fridge for about a month, which means you can drizzle it over brownies and dip your fruit in it every day if you want.
Not that I do that or anything.

What else is new?

Last weekend we had our annual cabin trip, which I would deem a success except for the tragedy that is Georgia Football.
It was so nice getting out of town for the weekend though.

The house we stayed at was three stories and beautiful.
Very cozy with tons of woodsy decor.

We spent the weekend having pomosas by the fire...

...watching the most devastating game I've seen in a long time...

...and trying to laugh off the heartbreak with card games and many {many} drinks.

Overall, not a terrible way to spend a weekend I'd say!

This weekend, Friday morning to be exact, Joe and I are off to Cancun for five days.
So this may or may not be the last post you see from me until we return next Wednesday.
Unless I bake a pie in my new pie dish tonight, which is totally possible.
I mean I do have all this extra caramel lying around.

Wednesday night feels like a good night for pie, am I right?

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