On the sand beaches of the Baltic Sea bits and pieces of amber was up every day. They range from the palest honey gold to the deepest brown amber. This inspired me to develop a caramel sauce recipe that not only was quick to make without burning, it also allowed the cook to easily determine the amber color of the caramel. From pale honey gold to dark amber, the sauce’s flavors range from light to deep along with the color.
To keep the sauce from burning at the onset when melting the sugar, begin by using just a small amount of corn syrup with the sugar. It provides just that tiny bit of buffer from the heat.
Once it begins cooking, stop stirring and simply watch carefully as the color changes. Remove the pan from the heat right before it reaches the desired color. If you are going for a deeper color, be careful. Do not turn away! This can still go from beautiful to burnt is seconds. Remember, it will continue to darken for a time once removed from the heat.
The key is to remember it is easy enough to begin again. It may take a few experiments to reach the desired color.
Texture also should be considered as the darker your caramel, the thicker the cooled caramel. If you end up with a caramel that is too stiff for you use, simply place it in a saucepan add a few tablespoons of cream and heat over low heat until sauce has thinned and cream completely absorbed.
This recipe also makes a great salted caramel sauce. Simply add ¾ t sea salt prior to use.
4 T corn syrup
¾ c sugar
3 T butter
½ c heavy cream
¾ t sea salt (optional)
Combine corn syrup and sugar in a small heavy saucepan. Over medium high heat, stir the mix until the sugar is absorbed and it begins to boil.
Continue to boil, undisturbed, watching carefully until the syrup is almost to the desired color. Remove from heat.
Immediately add the butter and stir. The mixture will sizzle. In a slow stream, add the cream, whisking continually. If the sauce begins to harden on bottom of pan, return to a low heat and continue to whisk. It should be completely mixed within a minute.
Pour in a jar and allow to cool. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.