chocolate hippos

salted caramel sauce

I am terrified of being alone at night.  Ever since I was a child, as night fell, I feared the boogeyman.  And to this day, if I am alone overnight, I sleep with the lights on.  So if the boogeyman sends me an email demanding my salted caramel sauce recipe, I hand it over.

Yes, the boogeyman.  As I was lying in bed checking my email last night, I received an email from an unknown email address, nagging for the intricate details of how to make my salted caramel sauce.  When I pressed to find out the identity of this suitor-of-my-sauce recipe, they would only respond with “boogeyman”.

Sufficiently frightened into sharing, I’m not only sharing with the boogeyman, but you as well.  The recipe is pretty simple, this recipe is more about technique.  With practice, it actually becomes quite easy.  Take that, Mr. Boogeyman.

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Salted Caramel Sauce (makes about 2 cups)

This sauce is fabulous over ice cream, drizzled over cakes and swirled into brownie batter…and simply eaten plain by the spoonful.  Or, if you are feeling generous, pour it into a pretty jar and give as a hostess gift.

2 cups sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) butter (if using salted butter, use a little less sea salt), cut into 8 pieces

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon flakey sea salt

In a heavy large pan (I use my Le Creuset dutch oven) melt sugar over medium high heat, stirring with a heat proof spoon/spatula.  You need a larger type of pan, as the mixture will bubble vigorously when adding butter and cream.

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Sugar will begin to clump as it melts, just keep stirring.

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When sugar is melted, stop stirring but watch pan closely.  You can swirl the pan a bit if the sugar is darkening faster in another part of the pan.

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When sugar is dark amber and just begins to smoke (350 degrees fahrenheit on a candy thermometer) remove turn off heat and add butter all at once, stirring until butter is incorporated.  Be very careful not to burn the sugar in this step.  If you undercook, your sauce will lack flavor.  If you overcook, well, it will taste burnt.

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Add heavy cream, stirring to incorporate.  If clumps remain, you can turn the heat to low to dissolve them.

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Stir in sea salt.

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Let cool in pan 10-15 minutes then transfer to glass jars.

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Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Caramel will solidify once cold.  Reheat in microwave or small saucepan.

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