This Christmas I decided to make homemade gifts to give out to family and friends. I wanted to create something different than cookies or jams or baking mixes. So, I made salted caramel sauce instead. I saw the recipe on Food and Wine magazine and I couldn't believe how easy it was. I followed the recipe as it was written, but my only change is that I used gray salt instead of fleur de sel. Don't worry if your salt doesn't completely melt. I think that's what I like most about this sauce because small, salt crystal stay suspended in the sauce and they make love to your mouth once you eat it straight out of the jar or warmed up and drizzled over some vanilla ice cream.
INGREDIENTS (makes 2 cups)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
Put the sugar in a large saucepan and pour the water all around. Add the vanilla bean and seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream. When the bubbling subsides, bring the sauce to a boil and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the hardened caramel is dissolved. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the fleur de sel and let cool.