makes about one cup
vanilla bean split lengthwise, seeds scraped (pod can be used to scent sugar, if you like)
cup heavy cream
This recipe was barely adapted from the one posted at Simply Recipes. The only difference is I used 4 tablespoons of butter instead of 6, and stirred vanilla bean into the finished sauce for a twist. Elise also has great step by step photos, so go take a look at them and get the recipe directions while you’re there too. Notes: Just before the sugar starts to melt, it will appear to “seize” and look crystalized. This is a normal stage in the transformation, so don’t get nervous. Within a minute or so, it will then breakdown into a golden syrup. As Elise notes, the caramel foams up considerably when you add the cream. This also causes an extreme amount of steam, so best to keep your face at a distant and not hanging directly over the pot. Nonstick vs. Stainless Steel. I haven’t tried nonstick with Elise’s recipe but found it to be insufficient when using the old recipe I’d been working with. I’ve since stuck to a 4-quart stainless steel stock pot. Due to the cream, homemade caramel sauce cannot be canned, but this still shouldn’t stop you from giving it as holiday gift. Just be sure to make it within a few days of giving and let the recipient know it must be refrigerated and lasts for 2 to 3 weeks.