This sauce is a serious go-to around our house. We always have the ingredients on hand (sugar, cream and salt), and I've been known to whip up a batch at 9:30 at night for a quick topping for late night bowl of ice cream. Seriously....3 ingredients and 15 minutes! You've got to give this one a try.
The best part? It's really, really easy to make. Homemade caramel sauce gets a bad rap sometimes for being finicky, but I promise, this recipe is as simple and straightforward as they come.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce
Making perfect Salted Caramel Sauce every time is all about technique and a little bit of practice. Here are some tips and tricks to help you along:
- Gently whisk the water and sugar together on the bottom of the pan while the sugar is dissolving. You want to avoid splashing the sugar and water mixture up on the sides of the pan as that can lead to crystallization of the final product (a caramel sauce that is grainy in texture and cloudy in appearance).
- Once the sugar has dissolved, leave the mixture undisturbed as it cooks. Again, it's all about avoiding crystallization on the sides of the pan. The mixture will be clear and extremely bubbly as it cooks. Simply let it do its thing and keep a close eye on it.
- Once it begins to turn amber in color, gently swirl the pan over the heat. This helps even out the heat and the caramelization of the sugar.
- Once you've reached the desired deep shade of amber, turn off the heat and immediately pour in the cream. Caramel can go from perfect to overcooked in a matter of seconds. Pouring in the cream will cool down the mixture and stop the cooking process.
- Be extra careful during this process! Caramel is extremely hot and the mixture will bubble up when you add the cream. At this point, the caramel will be a bit of a incohesive mess. No worries! Simply whisk the mixture until it is silky smooth throughout.
- If you plan to use the caramel sauce on ice cream (and you should), add a tablespoon or two of water after everything comes together. When the caramel comes into contact with the cold ice cream, it can harden rather than maintaining that silky smooth texture we just worked so hard to achieve. Adding a tablespoon or two of water prevents this from happening and maintains the fluidity of the sauce.
Where might you use this Salted Caramel Sauce? Ice cream is just the start! Here are some other recipes on the site that might benefit from a drizzle of warm salted caramel:
I hope you give this easy 3 Ingredient Salted Caramel Sauce a try! It's incredibly delicious and versatile....just the thing to have in the fridge for that morning bowl of porridge or late night bowl of ice cream.
3 Ingredient Salted Caramel Sauce
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½-1 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
- Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, gently whisking on the bottom of the pan as necessary until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to turn amber in color.
- Gently swirl the pan to even out the cooking. Continue to cook and swirl the pan until the mixture is deep amber in color.
- Immediately turn off the heat and carefully pour in the cream (caramel is VERY HOT and it WILL splatter). Whisk until cream is fully combined. Add sea salt (I like a full teaspoon in mine but if you don’t want yours as salty, start with ½ teaspoon).
- If sauce seems too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water until desired consistency is reached. If you plan to serve it on top of ice cream or something else cold, definitely add a tablespoon or two of water. This will keep the sauce from hardening when it comes into contact with the cold ice cream. Salted Caramel Sauce keeps for two weeks in the fridge. Warm briefly in the microwave before serving.