Quick and Easy Caramel Sauce, An Impetuous Addition!

Thanksgiving was delicious! We ate and ate and ate…. I will post about the meal another time…but after the 14 of us had eaten (yes FOURTEEN, and that number is low because not everyone attended) put away the leftovers and rested; (did I mention it was HOURS later) we were finally ready for dessert! I made Apple Crisp, and had considered making some caramel sauce to serve over it for the past few days, but wasn’t sure (how was I not sure??) if I should make it or not.  

Homemade Apple Crisp, Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It had been YEARS since I had made it. And by years I mean when I was on extern, so circa 2001. I have to admit, once in a while I get a little unsure in the kitchen. It has been so long since I have made certain things that sometimes I wonder if its still “in me”; if I can still make consumable magic. I threw caution to the wind and thought “why not? what is the worst that can happen? I set the stove on fire?” and with that I made it.

I love the simple beauty of sugar bubbles

It felt so good to make magic again. I had forgotten how good it feels to create something from nothing. I make dinner every night and breakfast most mornings; but somehow making caramel is different, it’s magical. It reminded me just how much I LOVE it. Transforming something like heavy cream and sugar into something as luxurious as caramel.

Beautiful Caramel Sugar Bubbles

As delicious and magical as it tastes, it is also really  simply and easy to make. And there is no comparison for homemade caramel. You can never go back to that “stuff” from the store once you try this! It’s smooth velvety texture slides off of the spoon and into your mouth as it excites and caresses every taste-bud on your tongue while you devour it.  And as far as ease of making it goes, all you really need to do is measure your ingredients and pay attention!

Sugar Strings. Fun to make!

This made a huge amount. We all had it on our apple crisp, and I still have two jars that I filled and “preserved” using inversion canning. In fact, it made such a good amount that I am sending one jar to my friend Barb over at Creative Culinary.  She likes caramel as much as I do. And with butter and a touch of bourbon in it, I think she will really enjoy this!

The finished product!

Homemade Caramel

  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 3 Cups Cream
  • A large pot or bowl filled with ice water
  • Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan, stir with a spoon to combine, the mixture will be cloudy.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and gradually the sugar will dissolve, probably within about 5 to 10 minutes. (You CAN stir the sugar, some people will tell you it will turn to rock candy. I have NEVER had that happen. If you are scared that it might, add about a teaspoon of lemon juice. That will guarantee the sugar does not crystallize.)
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the sugar cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 minutes or so depending on your heat and stove.  If your heat is uneven you can stir the sugar, nothing bad will happen to it.
  • Do not walk away from the sugar, it will go from caramelized to burnt in a quick second, so watch it closely!!!! 
  • When it is caramelized to your liking (figure just a shade darker than a copper penny) quickly take it off the heat (and turn the heat off) and dip the bottom of the pan in the ice bath to shock it and avoid it cooking further
  • Return it to the burner (with the heat off) and slowly add the cream. Keep your face and appendages out of the way, it’s going to steam up and rise us as you add the cream. Don’t freak out, it’s going to look like a volcano erupting, just whisk it while you add in the cream.
  • The caramel will probably harden up a bit, again don’t freak out.
  • Turn the heat on low, and whisk constantly, after about 10 minutes (more or less depending on how much it solidifies)  the caramel will melt into the cream leaving you with a smooth velvety sauce.
  • Let it sit to thicken and enjoy whenever and however you like!

Add Ins:

  • Tablespoon of butter, whisked in just after you take it out of the ice bath.
  • Bourbon!!!! (The men drank almost ALL the Tuthilltown) There was about a teaspoon left in the bottle, so I poured it in after the sauce finished coming together.
  • Basically anything you want! It’s a great way to experiment!

I think I might toss some popcorn in it tonight! 🙂

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20 thoughts on “Quick and Easy Caramel Sauce, An Impetuous Addition!

  1. You know how excited I am right? I made rum caramel sauce last year for gifts for family; with instructions for a quick and easy Bananas Foster. All they had to do was saute some banana slices in the sauce and pour on vanilla ice cream. There were requests to do it again this year but I’m hoping that the coffee liqueur brewing in my garage will keep them happy!

    You are so right Jessica…once someone tries this there will be no going back. It’s not hard but it does require attention. I know this for a fact. I once had to throw away a pan I ‘forgot!’

    Thanks again. XOXO

    • I am so glad you are excited! I’m probably going to ship it out tomorrow morning. (That’s the plan at least)

      Ooooooh your idea sounds amazing!!! I was thinking of doing caramel sauce gifts, but felt like it needed more than sauce in a jar, lol. THAT sounds like perfection! Coffee liqueur….oh WOW…..that practically sings to me!

      Oooooooh a forgotten pan…wowzers!I’ve forgotten things in the oven before, last years crack pie turned int toffee! I probably shouldn’t ever walk away from caramel hehehe 😉

      You are welcome and I can’t wait for you to be able to enjoy it! 🙂

  2. I’ve been making caramel sauce quite a bit lately at the restaurant. I’ve had some close calls running back to the stove in the nick of time to save the sugar. The CIA pro baking recipe is what i use and they call for glucose syrup (i would assume to stabalize?) but i can never find any so i use corn syrup and works well. I’ve tried the shocking deal, the first time i made it last year, and ended up with a sugar blob! I gave up on doing that and just make sure the cream is cold and swirl the pot slowly. Works great! The flavor is great. The only store bought kind that ties it is Mrs.Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel…SO good.
    Now i want caramel popcorn with nuts…damnit! lol

    • Glucose is definitely for structure. I don’t have it either. So I went with sugar and water. It worked just fine. I definitely wish things had been a bit more “real world” back at the CIA.

      Shocking is kinda necessary for me, mainly because I like to push it with the sugar as long as I can lol. And just a few seconds can really change it. But yes, the “blob” is always a timly thing to work back into it.

      Hehehe I have been thinking of caramel corn since I made it!!!! 🙂

  3. mmmmm YUM!!
    I’ve always been a toffee girl myself…perhaps that is out of an inherent LAZINESS on my part..instinctually my brain knows toffee sauce is easier…or maybe it’s the BUTTER! hahaha
    I think this calls for a taste comparison…yup..must make and taste test both…this might require multiple tastes..ya know for different applications…cakes, ice creams, popcorn…you get the picture!

    • I made toffee last thanksgiving; completely by accident. I fell asleep with crak pir in the oven….ummm yea, THAT was a sticky mess.

      A taste comparison is completely in order, and isn’t about time we get together yet? Like way past time actually!!!! Many tastes of both, over and over, washed down with bourbon. Good right?

      Oh yea, it would be great with cake, ice creamand popcorn too lol 😉

  4. I could literally bathe in caramel sauce on a daily basis – and yours looks to be just the right kind I want to immerse myself in! OK..I’ve got to get back to you on Twitter in a bit! The ‘frog’ story is just too cute!

    • Well thankyou Lisa, please feel free to jump in, just make sure it cools off first! 😉

      Ahhh yes, the frog story, so have to go over that with you! I’m hoping to finish up the post on it tonight, complete with pics of her devouring her “frog leg” hehhehe 🙂

  5. yes it IS way past time! if only we would stop being sick!!
    a get together taste comparison also seems like a darn good excuse for me to make some sticky toffee pudding…Mmmmm
    you make the caramel…I’ll make the toffee sauce and we’ll try them both on various treats! hahaha

    • Right? First I’m sick, then you’re sick, it’s a damn cycle!!!!!

      Hell yes it’s a great reason to get together! Plus sticky toffee pudding and caramel goes great with bourbon!!!! mmmmmmmmmmm I ❤ bourbon! 🙂

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