Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Salted Caramel Sauce

Or, Christmas Gift Idea #4
It' s #29 in the Food Network Magazine's 
insert this month.
I am taking these for a mass birthday party tonight
but they are really cute hostess gifts as well.
I have never made caramel before and my candy
making experience is limited at best, but nothing
ventured, nothing gained.

Here is what I can share:

Do not "simmer" the sugar water as the instructions 
would have you do. 
After 1/2 hour of simmering
 (not the 12 minutes the instructions suggest) 
 and the mixture not getting anywhere near a dark amber, 
I Googled more instructions. 
As best I can tell, you should allow the water to boil. 
I had to make a second batch and that one 
did turn dark amber in about 12 minutes. 

Ina would have you stir the sugar water, 
these instructions tell you to swirl it. 
For some reason, I think you are not supposed to 
stir sugar water when making candy, so I did not. 

The first batch I just poured in the cold cream which 
bubbled quite impressively and proceeded to form a 
big ol' ball of goo that I eventually
turned into a sauce.

With the second batch I warmed the cream a bit but
when I poured it in it went NUTZ!
Up and over the sides of the pan, 
all over my stove. 
Now, I don't know if that was a result of the warmed cream or 
of taking the sugar water all the way up to a boil.
A bit more research and I found Alton
suggests you let the sugar water cool a bit
before adding the cream. 
That sound like good advice. 

All that aside, it's really delicious sauce. 
My friend asked what you do with it. 
I suggested
over ice cream, 
over gingerbread cake,
or by the spoonful. 

You decide.

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