Okay, so you don't know a thing about me. A good place to start would be: I love butter. And sugar. And most of all, salted butter caramel. No better way to start this blog, in my opinion.
The stars of the show:
Heavy Cream: 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp, or 10 Tbsp, if you happen to be interested in that kind of math
Salted Butter: 6 Tbsp
Sugar: 1 Cup
Salt: 1/2 Tsp (optional)
Before you start with the sugar, do this for me. Wear full sleeves or gloves even, if you feel that apprehensive. Make sure you have a deep, heavy pan. And lastly, pour the heavy cream into a bowl and warm it up so it's ready to pour into the caramel when the moment arrives.
I know I didn't need to post this photo but there's something about pouring liquids that makes me want to capture it in a picture.
Now, empty the sugar cup into the nice heavy pan. In about 3-4 minutes, it should start turning into copper coloured liquid. If the layer of sugar is thin,it will brown around the edges, and if it is thick, it will start browning at the bottom and it may not be visible to you immediately. Lightly stir occasionally so you're able to spot the browning.
If you stir too much, the sugar may clump together. Don't worry too much about it, it is a classic mark of an amateur. Just try to break it up and dissolve the clumps. No one told you making caramel was going to be easy.
Now, to make good caramel you don't really need a thermometer. When the sugar has melted and you start to smell a nice, brown caramel, which has an ever-so-faint burnt aroma, take the pan off the heat and drop in the butter. The mixture will bubble like mad and if you're unlucky, even splatter around a bit. Be brave, and stir continuously.
Next, pour in the warm cream and keep stirring. My caramel did sieze up, but stir and stir like there is no tomorrow, and it will get nicely incorporated into the cream. If some clumps still remain, you'll just have to strain out them out at the end.
Whip up with some heavy cream and butter to make caramel buttercream. Stir some into your favourite hot chocolate. Lick it right off the spoon straight from the jar.
Or if you're one of those with self restraint, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.