Caramel syrup is one of the most versatile sweet condiments you can have around. For starters, you can use it to substitute chocolate sauce in any recipe.
That goes for pastries, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies and even coffee drinks. You can also top pancakes and waffles with caramel syrup and ice cream too.
I won’t lie, there are plenty of caramel syrups on the market, and they are, more often than not, pretty good. The thing is, they’re not as natural as you would want them to be.
They’re packed with artificial flavors, thickeners and other chemicals, and that’s not ideal. Homemade caramel syrup is on another level, so it’s well worth making.
Some people are afraid of making caramel, though, and with good reason. Sugar can get burned fast, so you need some skill and practice.
Having said that, making caramel and caramel sauce or syrup is easy if you know what you’re doing. Here’s a foolproof recipe to get you started; it has worked for me every time.
For this recipe, you’ll need regular granulated sugar, a whole cup of it. We’re using a splash of water too. These two straightforward ingredients alone will become the caramel. The thing with caramel, though, is that it’s a bit unstable, so we must add a few more ingredients to create a syrup.
Heavy cream and butter stabilize the caramel syrup and provide extra creaminess and texture. A dash of vanilla extract seals the deal for me. A nice homemade caramel syrup that opens a work of possibilities.
Store your caramel sauce in a bottle with a lid in the fridge. It has a long shelf-life. Still, you might want to make a fresh batch every couple of weeks just in case.
In a thick-bottomed skillet, add the sugar in an even layer.
Cover the sugar with the water without disturbing it much.
Heat over a low flame. Gently stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
Once dissolved, increase the temperature to a medium flame and let the sugar mixture turn golden brown.
Remove from heat (before the sugar burns) and add the heavy cream. Incorporate completely.
Once the cream and the caramel are fully integrated, add the butter and vanilla extract. Incorporate.
If you find crystalized caramel, heat the mixture over a low flame while stirring until the caramel sauce is smooth.
Let your caramel sauce cool down before bottling and store it in the fridge.