When I first arrived in the States and was looking for something to do, I joined a volunteer group that worked in schools during Summer and helped out teachers. This was pretty soon after we’d moved here. Everything was just new and we were just learning how to speak American. During a lesson about their favourite chocolate sundaes a students asked me how to spell “caramel” but pronounced in the typical American way of “car-mel”. So I asked to her to “sound” it out, she did, and wrote “karmel”. This left me in quite a pickle. For the life of me I couldn’t explain to her why carmel, was spelt “caramel”. I’m still waiting to figure that one out, and simply provide this poor girl with an explanation better than; that’s just the way it is.
Salted caramel is my flavour of choice for macarons and one of my absolute favourite cupcake flavours, if done well. Unfortunately, it often isn’t. I’ve had caramels with far too much salt, with not enough salt. With caramel and salt separate and then big hunks of salt sprinkled on top. There have been caramels that weren’t caramelised enough and others that were far too caramelly. Here’s my version. You can omit the salt if you’re after just a caramel sauce. The key is to add salt to your taste and only if you want.
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
Place the sugar in a medium saucepan and place on medium heat. As the sugar melts stir, don’t worry about the lumps, just keep stirring.
Once all the sugar has melted, you’ll see the sugar syrup becoming a dark brown/amber colour.
Add the butter to the sugar and it will bubble, keep stirring. Take the bubbling sugar off the heat and add the cream. Keep stirring. The mixture will bubble, please take care.
Once the mixture is smooth add the salt, taste and leave to cool. I tend to add my salt bit by bit, tasting and every point. Refrigerate any excess.
This sauce is fabulous to spice up some buttercream, amazing warm over ice cream or on top of cheesecake.