Does this really need an introduction? You can probably taste it before you even get your ingredients out. My homemade salted caramel sauce is super sweet with a hint of salt and only requires 4 basic ingredients that you’ve probably got sitting in your kitchen.
In This Article
If this is the first time you’ve made caramel sauce, you need to be careful with how hot it gets. With this sauce, you add cold butter and cream into hot melted sugar so things will bubble up and spit. Just be careful.
That’s why, before you even start, it’s good to have everything laid out in front of you, all measured out and ready to go. Mis-en-place, as the French say.
Once you’ve made it, you’ll realise it’s the perfect topping for just about everything from waffles and pancakes to ice cream sundaes and fruit salads.
What’s In Salted Caramel Sauce?
Every caramel recipe will start with sugar. Fortunately, to turn that sugar into a salty, sweet sauce, you’ll only need 3 additional simple ingredients. That’s what makes this such an easy caramel recipe.
- 200g Granulated Sugar: Sugar is a must-have for the base of any caramel. I find granulated sugar the easiest to work with when making caramel.
- 90g Unsalted Butter: You need some fat to enrich your sauce. I’d always use butter, personally.
- 120ml Double Cream: It just has to be double cream! If you’re making caramel sauce, then you’re not counting calories.
- 1tsp Sea Salt: To add the salted to your caramel sauce, you will obviously need salt. I’ve kept things simple with just a teaspoon of fine sea salt. You could use flaky sea salt. It also depends on the salt level you’re after.
Substitutes and Tweaks
You can use other types of sugar, including brown sugar or demerara. However, larger sugar crystals will need more time to melt. Maple or corn syrup are other options.
You can change the source of the saltiness by using a teaspoon of miso paste when adding butter. This will give you that iconic umami saltiness.
Feel free to spike your salted caramel sauce with other flavours. You could add the zest of an orange, a squeeze of lemon juice or a few drops of vanilla extract.
If you love coffee as much as I do, add an espresso shot to the cream before you pour it into your melted caramel mixture.
If you want to make this vegan, then you could try coconut cream or cashew cream.
Give the caramel a subtle herbal note by infusing it with a sprig of mint, rosemary or thyme.
How to Make Salted Caramel Sauce
Step 1: The base of any caramel is sugar. Different caramels call for different sugar types, but for my homemade caramel sauce, I’m keeping things nice and simple.
All you need is 200g of granulated sugar. Tip this into a large heavy-bottom saucepan or skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir it continuously, either with a wooden spoon or a heat-proof spatula. You’ll want to scrap the sides of the pan to ensure none of the sugar gets left behind and then burns.
Step 2: People often panic at this stage – I used to! I’ve heard from countless people who make caramel, see the sugar seizing into clumps and chuck it out. There’s nothing wrong at this stage. Give it time. You may want to turn it down to medium-low heat at this point.
As the sugar dissolves, it’ll slowly transform into that golden amber liquid you’re after. This is the major difference between the wet caramel method and dry caramel method. This is the dry method as we’re melting sugar without the addition of a liquid.
Step 3: To give some richness, add butter to the now-melted sugar. When you add the butter, it will bubble up quite violently, so be careful. This is just where something cold is hitting something hot. Allow the butter to fully melt into the sauce – this only takes 2 minutes.
Step 4: Next, you want to turn your rich, sugary base into a sauce. Slowly drizzle in your double cream, stirring as you go. As before, it will all bubble up and may splutter, so be careful not to burn yourself. Keep stirring until the cream is fully incorporated and you have a silky-smooth caramel sauce.
If you’re after a thicker sauce, then use slightly less double cream to loosen it.
Step 5: Remove the sauce from the heat and stir through enough salt to taste (although don’t try it yet as it will be like lava). Allow it to cool a little and then enjoy the best salted caramel sauce you’ve ever had on just about anything and everything…