Every once in a while, I get a hankering for ice cream.
Sometimes it's in the form of YogurtLand, sometimes a McDonald's McFlurry (Oreo, obviously). The spectrum is wide, but my preference is always the same. Vanilla mixed with something.
On Sunday I picked up my favorite Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt vanilla 'ice cream' and started plotting what I should add to it. The usual go-to would be strawberry sauce, but I wanted to stretch myself a bit.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Quick Poll: Do you say car-a-mel or carmel? I'm a car-a-mel gal.
Ok, back on track. Do you know where it comes from?
I knew there was a hefty amount of sugar and butter in caramel, but didn't realize it's pretty much those two ingredients exclusively until I read this decadent sauce recipe on Food52.
Side note: Definitely check out the link above. On Food52 the sauce is paired with some delicious sounding crepes.
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
Spread the sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved.
There may be some lumps, which will melt later. Mine was super lumpy from the beginning. But then it started to melt together.
Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it's just about to burn. It won't take long.
Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then very gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize (mine definitely did), but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted.
At this point I used a slotted spoon to take away a few large clumps before pouring it into a glass jar.
Serve over crepes, ice creams, with some fruit slices. The caramel goes well almost with everything.
This entire process made me incredibly nervous.
The sugar started to melt, but then formed into hard crystal lumps early. I knew something must be wrong, but just kept moving it around infrequently. As it melted into itself, some large lumps remained until the end. Still not sure why, but they were easy to take out.
But the final product? Oh goodness, so good.
This sauce elevated my yogurt 'ice cream' to a truly terrific level. It tastes like carmelized butter ... heaven. You could easily do a less-salted version as well by using regular butter and just seasoning the sauce with a bit of salt.
I have big plans for pouring it on green apple slices and pancakes throughout the week.