Salt and caramel… who would have thought they make such a divine combination? It’s one of my favourite flavours, especially paired with chocolate desserts. I tend to use the salted caramel sauce for pouring over brownies (check out my recipe here), dripping over cakes or adding a couple of tablespoons to buttercream to fill cakes.
Although you can buy salted caramel sauce from a store, I prefer to make my own as there is something very satisfying about seeing sugar and water turn into caramelly goodness. It’s also super easy, as long as you have a bit of patience!
TOP TIP: when you’re making the salted caramel sauce, make sure you DO NOT stir the mixture other than very carefully blending the golden syrup with the sugar and water. The caramel will crystallise if you stir it once it’s cooking, which makes it taste grainy and gritty- not what you want! I know it’s very tempting to stir, but step away from the spoon and let the mixture work its magic…
200g granulated sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons golden syrup
100ml double cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
To make the salted caramel sauce, start by adding the sugar, water and golden syrup into a medium sized non-stick saucepan and mix together slowly until just combined. The golden syrup is a little extra ingredient which I find helps to make sure that the caramel doesn’t crystallize so it stays nice and smooth.
Bring the water and sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat, but make sure you DO NOT STIR. Stirring the mixture encourages crystallisation and makes the caramel taste grainy.
Cook until the water and sugar mixture caramelizes into a beautiful golden brown colour, like the photo below. Don’t step away from the hob, as it can quickly start to burn if you leave it too long!
Take the pan off the hob and let it cool for a minute or two. Add the cream to the caramel a tiny bit at a time. This is the most important step because if you chuck in all of the cream it will get a cold shock and break into lots of pieces meaning you’ll have to start from scratch. Stir continuously with each addition until you have a smooth caramel sauce, see the image below.
Add in the sea salt and taste test to make sure the caramel sauce is to your liking, I generally add a bit at a time and test it just to make sure I haven’t made the sauce too salty!
If you need the sauce to be thicker or runnier, simply add more or less cream. If you want caramel to make decorations such as caramel baskets or caramel covered hazelnuts, just remove the cream altogether. The caramel will set within minutes without the cream, so make sure you work quickly to create your designs or it will be stuck to the pan!