Is there really an more perfectly simple topping or dipping sauce than caramel? In its purest incarnation caramel is nothing more than sugar that has been heated until deeply browned, but the transformation is enough to bring out deep flavors and subtle overtones that simply can’t be found in any other form of sugar. With the addition of a few simple flavorings this humble mix of melted sugar and water can take on sweet, savory or succulent flavors and it plays with each very well.
In this instance we were looking for a sweet caramel sauce for a few desserts. My wife found this recipe at Martha Stewart’s website and we both thought it would be a perfect fit to some of the other flavors we were going into the mix, so we gave it a shot.
It’s fabulous. Really. I can’t say how fabulous. I’ll admit that I upped the butter content over the version at Martha’s site, but I prefer a very rich caramel. (I may have added a bit more bourbon than listed as well. OK, A tablespoon more… But this has a tendancy to cause the sauce to thicken a bit overmuch, so I don’t reccomend it.)
If you’re going to take the leap and try just once in your life and attempt to make your own caramel sauce, this is the one you should try! No really, go make this right now. I’ll wait….
Good, isn’t it?
Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce Recipe
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 34gProtein: 1g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
We didn’t brush the sides of the pot as we worked because it was lacking from the original instructions. This rendered the sauce a bit grainy, but that didn’t affect the flavor at all! This has got to be the ultimate in caramel sauces and it’s one we’ll make again.
Next time I may make a double batch and try salting the 2nd just to see if the combo of caramel and sea salt will enhance the flavor any. Salted caramel is all the rage after all.
Links to other recipes like this:
- Caramel Sauce, from Closet Cooking
- Nuok Mau, Vietnamese Caramel Sauce, from Viet World Kitchen
- Ginger Soy Caramel Sauce, from White on Rice
Jerry, YUM I love caramel sauce and have yet to find a favorite, so we will give this a try. Thanks! ps I will of course try the salted method, too ;-)
That sauce looks so good. And healthy drippin’ all over that apple!!!
I love caramel and have made quite a few varieties, so know this version would be excellent…in all my leafing through recipes recently I saw a mention of it somewhere (darn, not having my colored stickies…) and thought, OH MY! Got this bookmarked….
Yummy! sure you’ll enjoy eating your food with this. good thing you can include this to your healthy diet because you can use it to fruits.
Thank you!! I’m making this recipe for gifts for friends this year and was hoping i could make a double batch (i will). Do you have any idea what temperature the caramel is when it is dark amber? I’ve thrown out batches of candy because of that fine line of dark amber and BURNED – it seems to happen so fast.
i think a lovely presentation would be a sprinkling of sea salt on the surface of the cooled caramel! mmmmm!
i failed miserably at this tonight! i have the worst stove in the universe – i HATE jenn air – and i can’t trust the knobs, so i used a candy thermometer, but still ended up with a separated gloppy mess. the first batch turned to a rock of sugar after about an hour on the stove (too low i assume). the second i turned up the heat to almost high and after 45 minutes finally got some color. once the temp started rising above 375 i turned the heat to low and added the other ingredients…. it has actually separated into a goopy medium brown colored top and a lovely reddish colored CLEAR liquid at the bottom. ugh. any thoughts?
It’s a pain to get right, but once you do have it right… It’s worth it!
Do you leave the vanilla bean pod in there, even when you refrigerate it? I’m not real familiar with cooking with vanilla beans. Tried this last night & failed miserably as well. Couldn’t get it to turn the dark amber color, even after about an hour on medium heat & some swirling. Also seemed to crystallize about half way through, so had to add some water to liquify it again…any suggestions? I think the finished product would be really good…but can’t seem to get it to that point!!! Thanks!
No, he pod comes out. crystals on the side of the pan are normal. If having issues, try increasing the heat slightly, but be careful. Like all caramels, this will go from golden to burned in seconds.
I don’t mean to sound like a sycophant, but I just can’t get enough of your writing! I know it’s a lot of work to post, and you still do it pretty regularly, but I wish you’d put even more of your thoughts on here. You never fail to entertain and enlighten :)