Salt isn’t my thing. It’s just not. I add it to almost nothing, and when I do add it, I add very little, always less than a recipe calls for. My dislike for salt has led me to stop eating ham and to eat other foods sparingly. And yes, I’ve become the person at restaurants who asks for no salt to be added to the food.
I understand salt is necessary even, or perhaps particularly, in baked goods. I have come to add a little salt, and I really mean a little, to all my baked goods whether the recipe calls for it or not.
I’ve wanted to make carmelitas from Kelsey Nixon’s recipe for quite some time now. And now it’s finally going to happen. First I had to make the salted caramel sauce. I love caramel, and I love making caramel. It’s always been one of my favorite foods. This caramel happens to be quite easy to make as it relies on your senses instead of a candy thermometer. I don’t mind using a candy thermometer, but sometimes I fear they don’t work perfectly, leading to taking the caramel off the heat before it is caramelized, and leaving me with something that definitely isn’t caramel. This sauce is all about watching, without stirring, as the bubbling sugar becomes clear then slowly darkens in color until it reaches that deep amber color.
It’s very important to be sure to allow the sugar to caramelize enough so the sauce isn’t cream colored after the cream and butter are added, but on the other hand, it’s equally as important to make sure it doesn’t burn. This isn’t hard, just be sure to keep your eye on it and never walk away from the sugar while it’s cooking.
I added all the salt this recipe called for. I have to admit, it’s good, very, very good. I like that I get that hit of salt every now and again. Could I have put a little less in for my palate? Definitely. Will most normal people without this crazy salt dislike be thrilled by this sauce? Oh yeah.
Next time you’re looking for a quick caramel sauce to whip up for pouring over ice cream or cake . . . or both, try this. It’s super easy and fast to make, is definitely delicious, and may have been my first step in becoming a salt convert. Or you can make it to put in carmelitas, my next post. Stay tuned!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
- In a medium saucepan, large enough to be sure the mixture will not bubble over, combine sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. You may stir during this step. Once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir anymore. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil the syrup until the color darkens to about a deep amber color. As the mixture cooks and darkens to the point of being ready, you will also begin to smell it caramelizing. This process may take 7 to 8 minutes. It is important not to walk away and cook the caramel only until it becomes deep amber in color, regardless of the time.
- Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully stir in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Continue stirring until it has been incorporated. Then add the butter and salt. Mix until combined. If the mixture is a little lumpy, hold it over low heat to gently warm the mixture and melt the lumps.
- Pour the caramel into a heat proof bowl to cool before using. Caramel may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature or heat before serving.