I love all things salted caramel. As in, I would venture to say it's almost an obsession. In the dead of winter I slurp down my fair share of Salted Caramel Frappuccino Blended Cremes from Starbucks despite the fact that I'm freezing. They're that good! The combination of sweet and salty is simply out of this world. It warms my soul. In fact, if I weren't in the middle of 6 straight days of freezing temperatures at my house (and 6 straight days of my kids being home from school) I would go get one right now. But I'm too scared to drive. I'm not a great driver under perfect weather conditions. It's probably best for everyone if I stay off the road. However, it would be best for my kids if I could get one one. Mommy's feeling a bit... restless.
Cue dramatic uplifting music: I can make my own. At home. Only better. And I can do so without changing out of my pajamas, without going out into the freezing cold, and without subjecting myself to yucky ingredients. This is Starbucks' Caramel Sauce's ingredient list.
This is my ingredient list.
Which would you prefer?
And the good news is? It's just not that difficult!
Homemade Salted Caramel
1 Cup of Water
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4-3/4 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt
(or Fleur de Sel, Course Sea Salt or any other form of course salt)
Pour 1 cup of water in a large (2-3 qt) heavy sauce pan.
Add 2 cups of sugar into the middle of the water, being careful not to let the sugar touch the sides. Turn heat to medium and allow sugar to dissolve. Do not stir. I repeat DO NOT STIR. Patience Grasshopper!
Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to medium high and watch carefully.
In the mean time, warm the heavy whipping cream for 45 seconds in the microwave, or until just warm (not boiling) in a separate sauce pan on the stove.
Wait for the sugar water to turn a beautiful amber color. Let me repeat yet again... Do. Not. Stir! If the sugar water is too light your caramel will be more of a vanilla caramel. If you let it turn too dark, it will simply scorch. Wait and watch carefully, pulling the pan off of the stove just as it reaches a deep (but not too deep) amber color.
Then, slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream. It will bubble up quite a bit, which is why a larger sauce pan is necessary. Continue whisking until the cream is fully incorporated and you see a beautiful caramel sauce appear.
Let it cool slightly then add the salt, 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you achieve your desired level of saltiness.
I actually use a combination of course sea salt and Himalayan pink salt. I like mine extra salty, so I tend toward using 3/4 of a teaspoon.
Store in a glass container in the fridge for up to one month. Once refrigerated it will thicken quite a bit. You may have to run the jar under hot water or scoop desired portion out to microwave before using.
In honor of finishing this blog post, I am now going to go make myself a Salted Caramel Blended Creme. With lots of caramel and lots of salt. Maybe I will skip the drink altogether and just stick my straw in the jar of caramel? Now that's a good idea!
p.s. Sharing is a good way to make friends. So is letting your kids lick the spoons!