Salted caramel sauce

My world had gone a little topsy turvy these days. At my new job, I don't get to leave the office until ten pm most nights and by the time I get home, I will be too exhausted to even eat, much less cook. Some of you may wonder, what do I actually do in real life. In a nut shell, I am in F&B and my wonderful job requires me to ....well, eat and eat a lot! I work with chefs and restaurateurs to develop new food concepts and help design their menus. So as you can imagine, I have do taste tests after taste tests of dishes and cocktails to get the flavours, textures, presentations just right. Dream job for a foodie? Yes but trust me it is harder than it sounds - eating the same dish countless time and all the while analyzing (how to make the flavours pop, would consumers pay for this dish....) the subtle variations and changes that the chefs made from the last tasting can seriously drive your tastebuds crazy. 

In spite of my job, I finally mustered up enough inspiration in the kitchen and whipped up this glorious salted caramel sauce at 2am in the morning. But it was all worth it,  this salted caramel sauce is decadently rich, luscious, glossy and everything a dessert sauce should be. The world has gone crazy for salted caramel and with good reasons. This decadent sauce gives an golden halo to any dessert it sets on. Drizzle it over ice cream. Swirl it into brownies and cheesecakes. Use it as a dip for apple slices. Make an apple tart (I should do this!) Stir a spoonful into hot chocolate. Put it in pretty jars and give it as gifts. And my personal favourite - Eating it by the spoonful after a long work night

Caramel can be intimidating, but the more you make it, and the more you will get a feel for the look and the smell, and it will become second-nature.

If you’re new to caramel-making, you may find a thermometer will help to guide you. The caramel should reach 155ºC on an instant-read or candy thermometer. The caramel should be a deep amber color. The line is very fine here. If you don’t cook it long enough it will be too sweet with little depth of flavor, but cook it too long and it will be burnt and unusable.

Now that you have a jar of the most amazing caramel sauce, what can you do with it? The short answer? Anything and everything!

400g granulated sugar
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup/240 ml heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You'll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that's okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.
Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma or until the syrup reaches 310ºF (155ºC).

To get an accurate reading while the syrup is cooking, tilt the saucepan to make sure the bulb of the thermometer is fully submerged in the syrup, tilting the pan if necessary.

Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth.

Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260F (127ºC). Remove the pan from the heat, lift out the thermometer, and stir in the cubes of butter, until it’s melted and the mixture smooth.  Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You'll want to warm the sauce up before using.

Until next post, ss. 

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