Joy The Baker: Almost Burnt Salted Caramel Sauce

      Almost Burnt Salted Caramel Sauce

      From JOY THE BAKER by Joy Wilson. Copyright 2012 Joy Wilson. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

      makes about 1 cup sauce

      The French knew exactly what kind of trouble they were getting into when they invented butter, stove-top cooking, sugar, and cream. They had to have known that inventing and perfecting such a combination would surely alter the course of the universe...or at least the course of my universe. Wait...the French did invent butter and cooking and sugar and cream, right?
      This classic salty caramel sauce is made with good French butter. The quality of butter makes all the difference. Splurge on the good stuff. Cook until aaaaallllmost burnt. The long cooking time creates an alluring depth and slight bitterness to the sauce. It's pretty incredible. I want it on everything, always. This recipe was inspired by my favorite pastry chef, Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry Bakery.

      • 1 cup granulated sugar
      • 2 tablespoons water
      • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
      • 6 tablespoons (34 stick) good-quality salted butter (I like an Irish or French butter)
      • 12 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
      • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

      Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
      Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to the warming pan. Whisk the sugar occasionally as it begins to heat, to ensure that the sugar cooks evenly.

      Cook the sugar to a nice dark copper color. The sugar will go from golden to dark copper fairly quickly. To help control the sugar, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool burner just before you reach the dark color you'd like. The bottom of the pan will still be hot enough to continue to cook the sugar.

      Over low heat, whisk butter, all at once, into the copper-colored sugar. When butter is melted, pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble and froth, but keep mixing. When bubbling subsides, add vanilla extract. Stir. The caramel might feel too loose. Don't worry; it will thicken as it cools.

      Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To thin, warm in the microwave for a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.