Love caramel? Here are two ways to make your own salted caramel sauce, one is classic, the other paleo. Both are fabulous!
Caramel + Apples = Fall. Were you a caramel apple kid? I never liked caramel apples as a child. That sweet sticky coating tasted wonderful, but it made the apple on a stick underneath taste disappointingly sour. As an adult, however, I love the combination of apples and caramel in grown-up type desserts. Homemade salted caramel sauce has so many uses: drizzle it on apple cake or apple crisp, serve it with fresh apple slices or dried apple chips, use it as a topping for cheesecake, ice cream, chocolate brownies, or muffins. Put it in little jars and give it to your friends and family.
I've included two recipes for salted caramel sauce. The first, Coconut Milk Salted Caramel Sauce, is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar and is a make-over of classic salted caramel sauce, which contains butter, heavy cream and granulated sugar. Classic Salted Caramel Sauce tastes just like those traditional caramel candies and is a well . . . caramel colour.
The Coconut Milk Salted Caramel Sauce is a little darker in colour because of the coconut sugar, but it still tastes like caramel. It's a perfect alternative for those who are avoiding dairy in their diets but still want that caramel flavour. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, so if you are also avoiding refined sugar, this may be an option for you. Having one of these recipes in your collection means you'll never have to buy the stuff in the jar again.
What to do if your caramel crystallizes
Don't worry! You don't have to start over. Just add a little cool water to the pan, stir to completely dissolve the crystals and continue. Watch this video for instructions.
Coconut Milk Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, solid part only
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight or until the liquid and solid portions have separated. Scoop the hardened cream into a small saucepan. Save the liquid for a smoothie.
- Stir in 1 cup coconut sugar and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a rapid simmer. Bubbles will completely cover the surface.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the sauce begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 10 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon thinly when it's done.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- It will thicken as it cools. Use immediately, or store in a glass jar. It will last for a week to 10 days in the refrigerator.
- Gently heat before serving.
And here's the recipe for Classic Salted Caramel Sauce.
Classic Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt like Fleur de Sel or Maldon
- Heat sugar and water in a 2 or 3-liter saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar but stop stirring once the mixture boils. You can swirl the pan occasionally to distribute the heat.
- Continue to boil until it reaches a dark amber colour. Add the butter all at once and whisk it into the liquid sugar. It will immediately foam up. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat.
- Whisk in the whipping cream. It will foam up again. Continue whisking until it is well incorporated.
- Stir in the salt until dissolved. Cool a little. It may seem too thin, but it will thicken as it cools.
- Pour into sterile jars. It will freeze well or will keep in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 weeks.
- Gently warm before serving.