Let’s be honest: Few things in the culinary world go together as beautifully as dark caramel and sea salt. The perfect caramel sauce will be sweet and bitter with a hint of salt. This sauce is purely addictive. It’s essential to use a good-quality sea salt to
impart beautiful mineral flavors to the caramel and further enhance its flavor. Caramel sauce is always good to have on hand for plated desserts, to stir into your morning latte, or as a dip for Granny Smith apple slices.
- Yield: 4 Servings960 ml
- 12 g (1 tbsp) vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste
- 500 g (2 cups) plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1000.33 g (1⁄3 cup) plus 2 tbsp water
- 20 g (1 tbsp) corn syrup or glucose syrup
- 500 g (2½ cups) granulated sugar
- 12 g (1 tbsp) plus 2 tsp fleur de sel
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife, and then use the knife to scrape the seeds from the pod. Place the seeds and the pod or the vanilla bean paste in a medium saucepan with the heavy cream over high heat. Bring the cream to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 30 seconds and then remove the saucepan from the heat and cover to keep warm.
- In a separate, medium stainless-steel or enamelcoated sauce pan, gently combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar with clean fingertips. Place the pan over medium-high heat; when the mixture starts to boil, cover the saucepan with a lid or a bowl and cook for about a minute. (See “Cooking Sugar,” page 26.) Remove the lid and continue to cook without stirring, until the mixture reaches 392°F (200°C), turns dark amber, and starts to smoke slightly.
- When the mixture reaches 392°F (200°C), turn the heat to low. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and very carefully pour one-third of the hot cream into the caramelized sugar, slowly whisking with a wire whisk. Be careful not to burn your hand (an oven mitt or heatresistant glove works great), as the cream will release hot steam. Gradually add the remainder of the hot cream in two stages, then add the fleur de sel, whisking continuously during and after each addition. Once all the cream and salt have been added, bring the heat back to medium and whisk the caramel sauce to ensure that it is evenly mixed. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
- The hot caramel sauce can be served immediately. To store, cool to room temperature and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.