Saturday, March 15, 2014

Easy To Make Caramel Sauce

About 3 weeks ago, I hit a craving for something sweet and since I am mandated to eat at least 2 apples a day, I went shopping at the store to find some caramel sauce in a plastic container, the price $4.00 for about 1.5 cups! Everyone knows that I don't like processed food and after scanning the ingredients I was reminded of a childhood memory of making toffee at home with my Mom.  I had so forgotten this time, and I was probably about 7 years old when we would just go in the kitchen and make it. And after a few times, I made it on my own even at such a young age. However I hadn't done that in years.

I did do a quick search on the net but found that people seemed to have problem with it not turning "amber" colored or too thin, either way, here's mine.  Please note that I did put a little lemon juice in mine right at the start, don't use concentrate though. No thermometer? No problem. You should be able to stand and watch over it.

Here's the start:

1 Cup of Sugar
Sugar, Water & Lemon Juice

1Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice 
1/4 Cup of Water.

And get ready:

2 Tablespoons of Butter (You can substitute Coconut Oil)
3/4 Cup of Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream.

Get a heavy saucepan, I used the bottom part of a pressure cooker, but anything will do, just remember if your pot is not heavy your going to really have to watch the temperature.

Pour in your Sugar, add the Water and the Lemon Juice. You want the Sugar to be saturated with the Water, you may stir slightly to mix it together, but don't stir it up onto the sides.

You need to turn up the temperate to Medium-High and have a Wooden Spoon handy along with, if you have one, a Pastry Brush. Get the Pastry Brush wet to wipe the sides if you happen to get some crystallization on the sides if you accidentally stir the sauce while it is cooking.  The big key here is Do Not Stir, you may initially sweep it together to get the sugar soaked but after it starts cooking, patience is a virtue.

The mixture will slowly come to a rolling boil, do not leave it unattended because it is a timing thing, and it is dangerous because it is so hot. When it comes to a full bubble, simply keep your eye on it, you may from time to time push the wooden spoon through it but again, no stirring.  I didn't time it other than to say that it took about 8 minutes to get to this point of boiling.
Take a look at this video:

I did turn it down a little to medium heat at this point, I watched to make sure it was still bubbling.
Remember that you need to really watch it, as I found that every recipe I looked at said it was under 10 minutes from start to finish, this was not the case when I made it.    You should notice that at first the bubbles are small and rapid forming. As it cooks it, the forming slows down and you will see it start to form froth on the top, like these pics:

 You should see something like this on the left. Notice how small and the amount of bubbles is extensive. A good start.
And here to the right is a picture of it after about 5 minutes. This shows it starting to turn Amber. The bubbling will slow and you'll notice more froth building on the top, remember to just pull a wooden spoon through it if you want, but don't stir.

And finally after about another 4 or 5 minutes, the color has deepened. This is where you have to take it off the stove and add your Butter.
Dark Amber Slow Rolling Froth

At this point, I removed it from the heat and added the Butter, you can use Coconut Oil if you want, and that may give it an interesting flavour that is lovely too.

Last, you must pour your cream into the mix, stir quickly, I used a whisk to do mine with, I found that initially it lumped just a little but after a few moments it melted all down to the final product.

 And then you do what I do, bottle it up and give it away, there's nothing like getting a bottle of this. They will remember you.!

A little note: The sauce is not all that thick at the end, however it needs to cool and you may transfer it to containers. It must be refrigerated and will thicken up once it gets cold.

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