One thing that annoys me about recipes, espesh things like caramel, is that you can never SEE what the heck it’s meant to look like whilst you make it. Is it too brown? is it too light? Why did you not tell me it would start spitting molten-hot-sugar-goo at my face?
Ahh .gifs, I love them so much, they are my besties. (do you remember the toasted, ground vanilla bean tutorial? and the how to make pretzels .gifs? and the dripping ice cream .gif? Good times guys, good times…)
I hope this step-by-step guide will make you think so too!
No fuss, no burnt sugar, no burnt hands. Easy az.
And guys, really if your not convinced yet: there are no thermometers involved here. Because seriously, who can accurately use those candy thermometers in a shallow pan of caramel? That totally does not work at all. Pitfall-and-a-half I say.
(Oh ho ho, wondering what’s going on? Why is this such a crappy, short post Izy? Well my friendlings, this is just a short pre-step to a post coming yo way soon)
p.s. you may have to mouse-over the .gifs to get them to start playing btw.
-This makes a caramel which is still quite soft once cooled:
- You can thin it down to make an awesome salted caramel sauce by heating it back up and stirring in another tablespoon or two of water or milk.
- You can make soft caramels: once you’ve added the butter, add only 2 tbsp of cream and also add 1 heaped tbsp of honey* or corn syrup. Once the cream and syrup are added, cook the caramel for a further 5-10 minutes whilst stirring. Then just pour the caramel into a small, parchment lined cake/ brownie tin and leave to cool for a few hours. Cut up with a sharp knife.
- In the photos above I just poured the caramel into a mini cake pan (you could use a mini muffin pan) which I’d sprayed with non-stick spray, then sprinkled on some fleur de sel.
- If you actually want to make a good amount of caramel, like an amount where it would be viable to make about 30 pieces, then triple the recipe. I’ve cut it down because it makes the right quantity for a good amount of caramel sauce for a few people, and it’s the amount of caramel needed for my next recipe
How to make soft salted caramels or caramel sauce:
1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp (8g) butter
3 tbsp double (a.k.a heavy) cream (see notes)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp maldon salt
Measure out the butter and cream separately now! It makes life a lot easier later.
Put the sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Stir together over a medium-high heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Now put that spoon down, you’re not allowed to use it for a while.
Tilt and swirl the pan while the mixture boils (no mixing!). You’ll see it start to caramelize, probably in one corner of the pan, keep swirling until it has all reached a yellowish-golden colour (as seen at the end of the .gif above, and the start of the .gif below). TAKE IT OFF THE HEAT IMMEDIATELY.
Add in the butter (you may need to step back for a sec, it bubbles up), and swirl it in
Then the cream, and stir it in
Add vanilla and salt and stir them in. And you’re done!
(see notes as to how you can modify the recipe)