Rich Caramel Sauce

Rich Caramel Sauce

Details

This rich caramel sauce contains only 3 simple ingredients: sugar, cream and butter. It goes perfectly with ice cream, tarts, cakes and even French toast.
  • Serves: 8 to 12
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 56,906
  • Success: 95%

Steps

Step 1: Making the Sauce

• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup water
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 tbsp salted butter

Method

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE NOT MADE CARAMEL SAUCE BEFORE, PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL. THE SUGAR IS EXTREMELY HOT AND CAN CAUSE SEVERE BURNS.

In a medium pot, boil the sugar and water together over medium to low heat until the sugar caramelizes and turns golden brown. Be sure not to stir the mixture as the sugar heats.

This will take approximately 7 to 15 minutes.

Once the sugar is golden, immediately remove the pot from the stove and carefully whisk in the cream. Wear oven mitts and be very careful. The cold cream will splatter when it hits the hot sugar. Once the cream has been added, whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Then set the caramel aside to cool slightly as it will still be very hot.

Serve warm or at room temperature with cakes, tarts, ice cream or even French toast. Any leftover caramel sauce can be kept in a plastic container or squeeze bottle and stored in the refrigerator for quite a few days.

Note: Instead of using salted butter, you can use unsalted butter and season the sauce at the end with a bit of fleur de sel or gray salt.

Chef's Notes

Homemade caramel sauce has a rich, buttery nutty flavor that will leave you craving more…

When you caramelize sugar be sure to give it your undivided attention. It can turn from clear liquid to burnt caramel in a matter of seconds. At 350° degrees it is also very hot and can cause severe burning if you are not careful.

Only granulated sugar can be successfully caramelized; brown sugar and powdered sugars contain impurities that inhibit caramelization.
Also, make sure your pan and utensils are very clean because any food particles could cause the sugar to crystallize.



To prevent crystallization you can also add an interfering agent; just a tiny amount of acid will do, such as cream of tartar or a drop of lemon juice.



And remember, don’t be intimidated. Even experienced chefs sometimes burn the caramel or have the sugar crystallize on them.

43 Comments

  • Fatima A
    Fatima A
    Me encantan las recetas de esta pagin, tooodas son deliciosas, y te las explican muy bien, se mucho ingles, mas preferiría verlas en español, creo que la página al comenzar deber{ia tener una opcion, para que se pueda elegir entre inglés o español, que son los idiomas más usados, tengo un gran interes por la cocina, tengo tan solo 12 años, y me encanta ver esta página web ... ES LO MAXIMO!! XD Ah... y espero que sigan poniendo más recetas!!!!
  • Ken J
    Ken J
    Fatima A. really likes the Rouxbe website and the recipes on it. She thinks they're explained well even though she'd prefer Spanish language versions. Not to worry, she has the option (via her browser, I assume) of seeing the pages in Spanish or English, the most used languages. She's quite interested in cooking even though she's only 12 yrs old, and, again, she digs Rouxbe and hopes more recipes will appear!
  • Fatima A
    Fatima A
    Thanks too much for the traduction Ken J. !!!!!
  • Renee L
    Renee L
    This was my first unsuccessful Rouxbe recipe. I waited and waited but it just didn't change color (i.e. carmalize) but just reduced down to nothing. I did use granulated sugar so I can only guess that the granulated sugar here in England has some impurities in it which prevented it from working. Such a drag I was really looking forward to serving it with my banana tart. :-(
  • Mrs. F
    Mrs. F
    Thanks to your step by step directions, I finally made the perfect caramel sauce.
  • A H
    A H
    how long can this be stored in the fridge?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This will keep for several days in the refrigerator. In fact I have had some in the refrigerator for more than a week and it is perfectly fine. It usually doesn't last much longer than that, as we can't help but to eat it!
  • Liz S
    Liz S
    This sauce tasted great on the banana tart. However it took me 60 minutes to get it brown. Perhaps I was paranoid about burning it but the text said medium to low heat and I have a gas stove so I could control the heat well. It was bubbling so I thought that was good enough. After 30 minutes I turned it up a bit and after 40 minutes I turned it up again. Near the end I had it practically on High on my slowest burner. In the end, it did turn out beautifully and the only complaints I got were that I was too stingy drizzling it over the top of the tart. It must have been good because when I offered the hostess to keep the leftover sauce for herself, she showed me a bowl hidden away where she had already taken half!
  • Lihd F
    Lihd F
    I was making creme caramel last night and used the first part of this recipe as guide to tell when the caramel was done. I worked out really well and the video let me know exactly when the caramel was done and what it should look like. Thanks!
  • Miriam G
    Miriam G
    Thank you for this marevelous recipe, I did it last week and it was easy to do, but I agree with Liz S, I spend like 60 minutes to turn in brown!!! the texture and the taste it's good, But I found it very sweet, in fact, I think it's too much swwet. What will happens If I repeat the recipe, with less sugar, but keeping the other ingredients measures!? thank you again!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Glad you liked the caramel sauce. It is naturally sweet, being that it is a sugar sauce. If you alter the recipe, it can become too liquidy and won't have a thick consistency. The rich caramel color also won't be the same. Perhaps next time you make it, experiment by adding a bit more cream but keep consistency and color in mind. It also depends on what you are serving it with. If you're pouring it over an already sweet dessert, it may be too much. One other thing, the caramelized sugar should not take that long to become golden. Just try turning the heat up a bit, but keep a close eye on it. Once it starts to turn color, the heat of the sugar will increase very quickly and can easily burn, so make sure you're ready with your mise en place. Good luck next time you make it!
  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    I like this a lot. I try to keep some in a squeeze bottle in the fridge but it disappears pretty quickly. I like it on sliced Granny Smith apples, sprinkled with some grey salt.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    We do this too... Only problem is that I then use it on everything. In coffee it is great too or over ice cream. On apples with grey salt is a fantastic idea.
  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    I had it in coffee tonight for the first time and thought it was pretty great. I've been making ice cream lately which is why I made the caramel sauce but really, it's so good you can put it on so many things.
  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    Any tips for making a rich chocolate sauce (syrup) that has a similar viscosity as this? I'm looking for something that I can keep in a squeeze bottle and add to milk, etc...
  • K A
    K A
    Hi Hesham : I use this : http://www.pastrychefonline.com/Chocolate_Sauce.html
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This chocolate sauce (from Rouxbe) is also very good.
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    Hi Would it be possible to use this sauce to make a creme caramel? Many thanks Rick
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This caramel sauce is not what is used to make a classic creme caramel. The golden sugary base of a creme caramel is made using just sugar and water. The hot caramel is immediately poured into the ramekins before it sets and hardens. Cheeers!
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    Many thanks for your reply Dawn I guess there is a difference between caramel and toffee but I know not what. Does the former include milk and butter and the latter not? Rick
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    Hi I used the technique in this video to make the caramel for a creme caramel. The creme bit turned out fine but the caramel was a bit of a disaster:-( I did as the video instructed boiled and waited for it to turn a reddish brown - I would say 8 - 10 minutes. I poured the caramel, followed by the creme mixture, into ramekins then cooked @ 160C in the oven in a bath of water. I then removed from oven and let cool before placing in fridge. Unfortunately, when I turned them out, the caramel had partly solidified and was not runny like it should be. Did I overheat the caramel mixture? Many thanks Rick
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    As I mentioned in the comment above, this caramel is not the same caramel that is used to make creme caramel, which is why you had troubles. Cheers!
  • Caroline D
    Caroline D
    Can I use this recipe for caramel apple? Of not how can make the caramel for the .apples?
  • Jennifer B
    Jennifer B
    My first time making caramel and it came out awesome!!..My daughters were ecstatic that we were able to make it ourselves for our caramel apples. Thank You!
  • Alvin B
    Alvin B
    Dawn, I love this caramel sauce. Is it possible to add salt? If so, when should that be done in the cooking process? Happy New Year! --Alvin
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Salt can definitely be added to caramel sauce. We like to add a nice finishing salt, such as fleur de sel at the end. This way you get little pops of salt that contrast nicely against the sweet caramel sauce. Cheers!
  • Merna B
    Merna B
    mine tastes ever so slightly like English Toffee or a Score Chocolate bar. Did I over caramelize the sugar? It would have been in seconds while I took a deep breath while holding a whisk :) It tastes good but just not perfect.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    It sounds like perhaps you may have just over cooked the caramel just a tad—it really only takes a split second from being just under cooked, to just right, to just over cooked. However, the more you may make it, the better you will be come at judging that sweet spot. Cheers!
  • Merna B
    Merna B
    I let it cool and tasted it again and I'm sure you are right. The texture is great, it tastes good but doesn't want to be on the ginger cake with pears - it wants hazelnuts or chocolate ice cream if that makes sense. Next time I'll have the whisk in my hand and not flinch! Thanks Dawn.
  • Lucia R
    Lucia R
    Hello! Is the cream acid? I bought an organic cream but it is much more thick that the one in the video. Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Hi There, if you bought an organic cream, it should still be fine to use. Not sure what you mean by "is the cream acid?" Cheers!
  • Lucia R
    Lucia R
    the cream i bought is sour, should i buy the lycott i stead?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I have never tried making caramel sauce with sour cream, although I have heard that some people have. They said it worked fine, but it did alter the flavor. Again, sorry, I don't know what "should I buy lycott i stead?" means. Ideally, you should use heavy cream; however if you already have the sour cream, you could give it a try and see how it turns out and whether or not you like the flavor. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Dwayne C
    Dwayne C
    my first go at this was awesome, but second and third try, it kept crystallizing first before the colour change. I think I was cooking it too low, it was taking a long time , 40-45 min, I tried the lemon to help the crystallizing and it seemed to help but again, maybe not hot enough. Thoughts?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    It sounds like you may be fussing with it too much. It should not take ~45 minutes. You may want to slightly increase you water so you have a more stable solution (more thorough saturation). The real key is to not stir it or move it around too much. Just sugar/water/heat and wait for the color to begin to shift. ~Ken
  • Kervin
    Kervin
    if using a thermometer, at what temperature would it reached the golden brown color you are talking about?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Kervin, you will see caramelization at 330 degrees Fahrenheit, and color and flavor will intensify to about 345-350 degrees. This is the common range for caramel. Above 350 degrees, sweetness drops off and bitterness increases.
  • Noel G
    Noel G
    This recipe is great and well explained, well done Rouxbe.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Great to know you enjoyed this, Noel! Happy holidays!
  • Sharon S
    Sharon S
    I'm loving this and added some more water and vanilla extract instead of the cream, to make a flavored syrup for my coffee. Question to understand the technique though: why are you not supposed to stir or touch this sugar and water as it dissolves and boils, but you ARE directed to stir the sugar and water until it dissolves in the recipe for regular simple syrup?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Sharon - really great question! So when making caramel, once the sugar has dissolved into the water, it's important not stir until the caramel has reached your desired color. If you disturb the process, by mixing or stirring, you might incorporate air and lower the temperature, which can then cause crystallization - when this happens, the mixture forms big lumps in your liquid. Simple syrup is typically not heated so no need to worry about crystals forming. I hope this helps! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Trinka P
    Trinka P
    It took me two tries but I did it!!

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