Last fall I decided the time had come to learn how to caramelize sugar and make my own sauce, seeing as my husband loves caramel. Truly, that was why I started messing with caramel. I wanted to bless him. I have never reached for the caramel sauce for my ice cream if there was chocolate available, and I never expected my experimenting to come back and bite me. My sister-in-law Becca is actually the one to blame for the whole deal, since she encouraged me to try for a perfect caramel and warned me that there was no going back.
My first batch turned out beautifully, not one hitch. The second batch burned. The third one seized up, which is pretty close to burned and inedible. Finally I produced another batch that still had sugar lumps, even though the candy thermometer was registering near-burn stage. I decided that I was beat. Too amateur in the kitchen. Besides, I was tired of washing masses of mess out of my sauce pan.
This fall I started seeing all these caramel lattes advertised and decided to have another go. I searched for a tutorial online, and found Sally’s Baking Addiction. Following her step by step directions anxiously, I timed everything so very carefully. The result was Perfect. Caramel. With course salt mixed in, it is a delectable blend of sweet and salty. Unfortunately, it has turned around and addicted me instead of Gabe, who is more temperate than I am in many ways. He laughs at me. I cook another batch and give it away. But what if it was just a fluke? I try another batch since Fisher’s Country Store is having a sale on butter and I have lots of cream skimmed off the milk. Again, perfection.
Friends, I have nailed it! Now I can stop, wouldn’t you say? Or not. 😀
The only thing I did differently was to lose the candy thermometer and just go by the amber color to know when to add the butter. This does take some trial and error, but usually it is just right when the last of the sugar lumps are dissolved. I don’t worry about the bits stuck on the edges of the sauce pan. Oh yes, last fall I used a whisk. This fall I used a spatula and just stirred gently from the edges toward the middle. I did it exactly like Sally said because this is serious stuff. 🙂 If you have 15 minutes and those four ingredients, go try it. Do not become distracted and go look at something your husband is laughing about on Facebook. Make your children get their own drinks. Just stand there and watch that caramel. It is only 15 minutes of your life, but it will make your Christmas very merry indeed.
You are quite welcome. 🙂